TRUST---it's built with consistency, and one of he most important things we empower our clients to do.
When OIF/OEF veteran Joseph first came to us he was angry, defensive, hard to reach and uncommunicative. He came into our program with his rescued dog Buddy, who was also angry, defensive, hard to reach and uncommunicative.
They perfectly mirrored each other.
While they trained during the following year, this team faced a lot of challenges and struggles. Like most of our clients, there were times when Joseph wondered if they would make it. But during obedience classes, the communication skills and anger management we wanted to instilll in them gradiually became habits. These two first learned to trust each other, then to trust our OFP team, and ultimately to expand that circle of trust to others.They began to connect, developed coping skills,and opened themselves up to the world a little bit more every day.
Joseph and Buddy DID successfully complete the program and become an OFP-certified service dog team. Joseph said, “Instead of just improving on my dog’s obedience, this program [helped me] improve myself.”
Today Joseph and Buddy still mirror one another, but this is what it looks like now. These hard-won moments are why we do what we do.