Dogs That Make a Difference  

Posted by — Kim in , , , , , , , , ,

Here's a great article that I thought I would pass on...hope you find it interesting! –Kim

Lori Stevens of Patriot Paws trains dogs to serve as companions to wounded veterans.

By Sarah Beldo
May 2009

Like many people, Lori Stevens loves dogs. But this Rockwall, Texas woman has turned her passion for animals into a way to help enhance the lives of injured veterans.

In February 2006, Stevens — who has more than 15 years of experience training service dogs — founded Patriot Paws. Funded entirely on donations, the organization trains canines to assist with tasks such as picking up and retrieving items, pulling wheelchairs, opening and closing doors, and helping with chores.

It takes between 12 and 18 months to train a dog, at the cost of roughly $20,000 per canine. But the benefits the animals bring to their companions far outweigh the cost.

Clay Rankin, a disabled veteran from the Iraq war, said that his service dog Archie has helped him change his life and encouraged his recovery.

"Archie has meant the world to me," he explained. "Archie gave me back the independence I lost from being disabled."

Stevens cites the stories of the servicemen and women she helps as her inspiration. "I listen to people, listen to them talk," she says. "I hear the pain as they talk about the changes in their lives war has made — I see the difference these dogs can make."

Read about another dog training center in Lending a Helping Paw.

Source: Guideposts

VIDEO: See Lori and her patriotic canine pals serving disabled veterans!

This entry was posted on Sunday, June 28, 2009 at Sunday, June 28, 2009 and is filed under , , , , , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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