Anita & Bullett
Anita’s service to our country spans 30 years with the US Army and includes deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. In her long and distinguished career she attained the rank of E-8, Master Sergeant, with job responsibilities most civilians only read about.
Anita learned of Service Dogs for Veterans through AMVETS. Her pet German Shepard 'Bullet' was 10 months old and already 110# when they started training. The Tasks she taught Bullet were Push, Hug, and Cover. These he learned to do automatically when he senses Anita's anxiety ramping up. Anita was able to reduce her symptoms almost 28% through the 7 months of training.
For her, the most surprising and important aspect of the Service Dogs for Veterans program is the fact that the Veteran is trained to be the trainer/handler of their service dog, and there's' so much benefit doing it that way. She can continue the training because she knows all that went it to it, and doing it that way has made her stronger and much more knowledgeable.
She’s looking forward to getting out a lot more. They enjoy walking and hiking and even go fishing together. Anita said she is proud represent SD4V at an upcoming American Legion event and looks forward to other similar opportunities to talk about the program and how much it's helped her and Bullet.
When asked what she would say to another Veteran considering the SD4V training, Anita said "To be prepared to be as loyal to your dog as your dog is to you. She added that the training process is not always going to be easy, but in the end, it is definitely worthwhile."