Ryan Jackson with SD Taser
“I spent 6 1/2 years in the army. I was injured while in Iraq in 2004. I received Taser in July of 2013 and since getting him I’ve been unstoppable. I now also train for sfls. That is a huge honor for me. I enjoy riding bicycles, and going any and everywhere with Taser.”
Shawn Augustson with SD Reaux
“My SD Reaux has helped me by being a constant companion who is with me always. She can sense when I am feeling off and brings me back to reality.
She has woke me up from bad dreams and likes to cuddle me to reassure me that it is alright.
Being apart of SFLS has meant having a 2nd family of whom I can trust and has been another support system through my time of healing.“
Zollie Goodman with SD Tayla
“As a OIF/OEF veteran who fought early on in the conflicts, I returned home with a heavy heart. I had to fight tooth and nail for anything and everything from the VA from initial care after my discharge to my benefits I receive for being permanently disabled from my service. Seeking help for the VA led me to find only mediocre care, centrally focused around pharmaceuticals and only able to get an appointment with a doctor about once every 45-90 days. I sought treatment for years to almost no positive outcome. In 2013 I found and made contact with Shepherds for lost Sheep first over the internet and then the phone. I was calling from Florida to Washington State and was moved by the way they spoke to me and about my care even though they seemed so far away at the time. Moving forward I was placed with a Service animal named Tayla and our bond grew strong after flying out to train with her. Tayla has saved my life on more than one occasion, she helps me and improves my quality of life in so many ways every single day. As we continue to work out program together I make progress every single day doing things I have not experienced or felt comfortable doing in many years.
Thanks to SFLS my quality of life has improved vastly, and I am not only able to function better for myself, I am also much more capable for my children. Now Tayla and I are inseparable, she accompanies me everywhere, she is a “wheelchair for my mind” in addition to doing some mobility work for me for some physical injuries I sustained. I honestly do not know if I would be here today if not for this great program, and this wonderful Service Animal they have provided me with. Now when I call Washington it does not seem so far away, more like a second home with a new family that gave me a second lease on my life.”
Dustin Fox with SD Rainey
“OK… My name is Dustin and my SD is Rainey and she is a 10 year old Minature Schnauzer. I am a 71 year old retired Navy Gunnersmate CPO and we live in Washington State. We have had a great time in the Sheperds For Lost Sheep classes. We have learned a great deal from this very experienced training staff. It is obvious from the processes utilized by this Veteran Team that their primary concern is for the welfare of both the Veteran and their dog. It does take a high level of commitment to participate in the training process but it is so very worth it when the class is done. I would encourage everyone who either has an SD or needs one to seriously consider this organization. It is Vets helping Vets.”
Marcie Schottler with SD Rikki
“The first day we met I knew my life had changed. I knew that now I had someone that would “have my back” no matter what the situation.
Rikki is my lifeline and helps me get out of my house every day to accomplish what I need to get done, whether it’s going to work, shopping for groceries or going out to eat with friends;
She creates a barrier for me so even in the tightest of spaces I feel like I have enough room to breathe.
Words can’t describe how much mt service dog has helped me. This angel sent to me has made me more of the person I want to be.”
Jaretta Richey with SDit Avi
“I served in the US Navy as a small arms instructor (SAMI) and Force Protection Officer. As a member of the COMINEWARCOM Antiterrorism Force Protection Team, I was responsible for force protection training for all commands under the Admiral of the Minewarfare Fleet. After being medically discharged, I attended the University of North Texas and Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) earning a Masters Degree in International Security Studies with a concentration in CounterTerrorism. Shortly after, my PTSD and medical issues forced me out of the workforce and society. Thanks to my retired SD, Charlie, and her new SDiT, Avi, I have found a new passion for life and am working hard every day to rejoin the world I used to enjoy!”
Renee Raidt with SD Charlie
“I’m a US Marine Corps veteran, 1988-1992. I adopted Charlie a year ago. We were accepted into SFLS training about 10 months ago. I’ve learned a lot from the SFLS trainers about consistency, patience with myself, and persistence. I learn things from watching Charlie, as well. She’s a joy in my life, and I can’t thank SFLS enough!”
Tyler Sahr with SD Janos
My name is Tyler, and I suffer from heraring loss, PTSD, depression, anger issues, and mobility issues. Before I met Janos I could not go into any store during normal operating hours. I would get my family out of bed in the middle of the night and go into the stores because there were no customers. Even though the stores have barley any patrons I was constantly looking down all isles and making sure It was clear and nobody could pop out and scare me. I would have a hard time being by myself and alone with my children. It was either my wife was with me or I was at work. The fights between us began to get worse and it became really difficult time for our family. When I got to meet Janos my world got turned around the first few nights Janos had showed me that its worth it. Janos within the first few days had woke me up out of a night terror. Having him Im now comfortable going to stores even on my own (without my wife) still depending on stores like I can go grocery shopping on my own. Im still not comfortable going into walmart alone. My Family life has gotten much better. I have learned to express things to my wife and share with her how I feel. Having Janos just makes life more comfortable. He is my partner and my Guardian Angel! I know that I cannot go through life without him. Without my wife forcing me into this program when I had my doubts, I would never have any freedom. So my thanks goes to Shepherds For Lost Sheep for giving my freedom in the form of my Service Dog Janos!
Ashley Kelly Crites and SD Hope
Team Ashley and SD Hope. I was in the Air Force for 8.5 years, had hoped that I would make a career out of it like my father. However after experiancing some incidents while being deployed to Iraq in 2006 I developed PTSD and had ignored an injury to my hip and back that over time has required multiple surgeries and requires the useage of a cane, walker or wheelchair (depending upon the day). I was an electronics technician on air navagation equipment and radios then re-trained to my true love, medicine and was a medic. Eventually my PTSD could not be hidden any more and I had started to backslide to the point of attempting suicide on 29 June2011. Luckily I was the statistic of those who did not succeed. Ironically even though I had tried to end my life that day I wrote in my journal that after talking with hospital staff I somehow found Hope, the ironic part was that was the day my Hope was born. Her birthday is one of my Alive days. Before recieving hope I was very depressed from being in pain and the emotional anxiety brought on by being in public. I was probably hard to live with but my husband stuck beside me. After recieving Hope I have become more comfortable in public settings knowing she has my 6. She is a strong partner who not only helps me with my mental needs but she will pull my wheelchair and can go get me help if/when I fall. If help is not available she will stay there by my side till help arrives. Hope has changed my life in so many ways I cannot explain all the ways she helps. Thank you SFLS for giving me my life back.