military

These Incredible Service Dogs Are Trained To Wake Vets From Nightmares

by Ariana Seigel
Ariana lives in NYC but grew up in FL. She loves comedy, strong coffee, and impromptu performances by the mariachi bands on the subway.

As we celebrate all that the brave men and women do for our country, it’s important to remember our responsibility to support them upon their return to civilian life.

The transition can be a hard one, but thankfully countless American heroes rise to this occasion — like this military family that was given an amazing surprise at a Florida Gators Game. That’s why when I learned what America’s VetDogs were doing for our service men and women, I was absolutely touched. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, up to 14 percent of returning “Operation Enduring Freedom” vets have been diagnosed with PTSD. This can cause anything from sleeplessness to trouble eating to generalized anxiety and more.

Studies have shown, however, that service dogs can have a direct impact on relieving this kind of suffering. Scroll through to see incredible photos from Mashable showing exactly how these wonderful animals help our vets in need. Are you a member of a military family? Let us know in the comments.

Mashable

One of the many tasks these service dogs perform is nightmare interruption: a procedure in which the dog can sense if their human is having bad dreams and will quickly yank the covers off to wake him or her.

One of the many tasks these service dogs perform is nightmare interruption: a procedure in which the dog can sense if their human is having bad dreams and will quickly yank the covers off to wake him or her.

This demonstration was part of Purina's 'Better With Pets Summit' — an event to help spread awareness about the amazing work our animal friends do. In addition to nightmare interruption, service dogs can also remind vets when it's time to go to sleep and reorient them after they've awoken from a particularly rough dream.

This demonstration was part of Purina's 'Better With Pets Summit' — an event to help spread awareness about the amazing work our animal friends do. In addition to nightmare interruption, service dogs can also remind vets when it's time to go to sleep and reorient them after they've awoken from a particularly rough dream.

These pups are also trained in item retrieval, for those vets suffering from physical limitations.

These pups are also trained in item retrieval, for those vets suffering from physical limitations.

U.S. Army veteran Kent Phyfe, who served in the military for 15 years, received his service dog, Mike, after a recommendation from his VA doctors. Mike is specially trained to help with nightmare interruption and pushing buttons — including a 911 button in case of emergency.

U.S. Army veteran Kent Phyfe, who served in the military for 15 years, received his service dog, Mike, after a recommendation from his VA doctors. Mike is specially trained to help with nightmare interruption and pushing buttons — including a 911 button in case of emergency.

'I believe everyone who stopped by the VetDogs service dogs demonstrations left with a greater understanding of the work that goes into training service dogs, the variety of tasks these dogs are trained to do to mitigate veterans' disabilities and the strong bond between veteran and dog,' communications manager Bill Krol told Mashable.

'I believe everyone who stopped by the VetDogs service dogs demonstrations left with a greater understanding of the work that goes into training service dogs, the variety of tasks these dogs are trained to do to mitigate veterans' disabilities and the strong bond between veteran and dog,' communications manager Bill Krol told Mashable.

According to the group Paws for Veterans, service dogs are also trained to find lost objects, along with reminding their owners to take important medication.

According to the group Paws for Veterans, service dogs are also trained to find lost objects, along with reminding their owners to take important medication.

Many vets say just knowing that their service dog is alert and protecting them gives them a huge sense of relief.

Many vets say just knowing that their service dog is alert and protecting them gives them a huge sense of relief.

These pups do important work for our military and we cannot thank them enough for their service.

These pups do important work for our military and we cannot thank them enough for their service.

How does your dog help your emotional needs? Let us know in the comments.

Please SHARE if you’re as inspired by these heroes as I am!