Dear Astro, Veterans' Day is fast approaching. My family is wondering if you know any ways we can help make a difference in our community for US Veterans and their pets. Grateful in Galveston
Dear Grateful, I'm happy to tell you about an event supporting our brave veterans happening here in Houston and at Three Dog Bakeries across the US and abroad. The following article gives you some information on our event and why it's so important for our four-legged community to come together and support our veterans.
Each year on Veterans’ Day, Three Dog Bakery donates 15% of the sales of all TDB branded treats from every outlet to FISH - (Friends in Service of Heroes). Established in 2013, FISH is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping veterans. To date they have provided many veterans with service dogs. The donation made by Three Dog Bakery on Veterans’ Day goes towards supplying a veteran chosen by FISH with a PTSD service dog. Since 2014 Three Dog Bakery raised over $20,000. Our goal of raising $10,000 this year is ambitious, but it is attainable with a little help from their friends.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a persistent mental disorder that can occur as a result of a traumatic experience. Experiences that may cause PTSD to develop range from dealing with death, to losing limbs, to traumatic brain injuries - things that typically occur in wars. Sadly, the brave men and women who serve our country are at high risk for developing PTSD, especially those serving during times of war. It is estimated that 30% of Vietnam Vets developed PTSD, 12% of Desert Storm War vets did, and up to 20% of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom vets are afflicted with post traumatic stress disorder. The symptoms PTSD sufferers undergo are debilitating and, in many cases, paralyze their ability to lead normal lives. Thankfully, many of these symptoms can be alleviated by a specialized service dog.
It is well known that living with a dog is beneficial to our health. The mere presence of a dog can lower blood pressure, ease depression, reduce stress and raise serotonin. PTSD service dogs provide moral support and encourage socialization and, in most cases, give their human companion a sense of purpose. They help relieve the anxiety caused by the trauma the veteran has endured. Among the multitude of tasks that a PTSD service dog can perform are waking the veteran if he is experiencing night terrors, helping him calm down when agitated, providing a safe space around the veteran, alerting the veteran to the presence of others, reminding him to take his medication, and providing him with a sense of protection. The affection provided by a service dog helps the veteran know that he is not alone, thus reducing the feeling of isolation. Having a service dog allows the veteran the opportunity to regain a semblance of normalcy in his or her life. In most cases, service dogs reduce the symptoms associated with PTSD and even decrease the need for medication to treat those symptoms. The benefits of a service dog for a veteran with PTSD are unquantifiable and, often, life-saving. The immeasurable bond between a veteran and his service dog enriches not only the life of the veteran, but also the lives of those around him.
PTSD service dogs receive extensive and extremely specialized training. That training is time consuming and expensive, making the cost of a service dog prohibitive. To this end, each year on Veterans’ Day, Three Dog Bakery donates 15% of the sales of all TDB branded treats from every outlet to Friends in Service of Heroes (FISH). Established in 2013, FISH is a non profit organization dedicated to helping veterans. To date they have provided 13 veterans with service dogs. They also provide the dogs with service dog vests that give information on how and where the veteran served. These vests allow the public to perhaps engage the veteran in conversation, show him appreciation for his service and, if nothing else, learn more about the men and women who serve our country. FISH continues to support the veteran after the dog is placed and encourages him to get involved in helping other veterans. The donation made by Three Dog Bakery on Veterans’ Day goes towards supplying a veteran chosen by FISH with a PTSD service dog. Since 2014 Three Dog Bakery raised over $20,000. Their goal of raising $10,000 this year is ambitious, but it is attainable with a little help from their friends.
We hope we will see all of our furry friends at the bakery this Sunday November 11, 2018 to help bring joy to the life of a Veteran who so selflessly served to uphold the freedoms of our country.
All photos and blog stories are ©Three Dog Bakery Houston. Article author: Christina Potter. Please use appropriate permissions.