A Man And His Service Dog

So, I am skipping ahead a few years for this week. I will, however, start from the beginning of this story. In 2010, my family and I attended a retreat for wounded Service Members and their families near Appomattox, Virginia. While there, I attended a presentation by America's VetDogs and Guide Dog Foundation for the blind field reps Kathy and Greg Levick.

From the time I first became cognizant after waking up from my two month coma, every doctor and therapist I'd had told me that I was a great candidate for a guide or service dog and reminded me that I had always fought that. After the presentation, I no longer wanted to fight it; it took another two years for me to get into a class because of some medical issues, trying to decide what I needed most, a guide or service dog. In the end I, along with the help of my wife Angie and the expert staff at the Guide Dog Foundation, I entered class on April 3, 2013 and went home to Mechanicsville, Virginia with Gunner my new best friend.

Wounded Veterans

Service Dogs

In the nearly 14 months I've been with Gunner, I've been able to regain a ton of independence traveling to different places and doing public speaking overnight on a couple of different occasions and attending doctor and therapy appointments at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA hospital in Richmond.

This past week I had the opportunity to travel back to New York to do some filming for America's VetDogs at the campus in Smithtown, New York. I had an in-depth interview on what life had been like for me before injury, after injury, before Gunner, and after.

My life has been returned to me.

I played the part of the ass really well before Gunner, and since getting him I've gotten a lot of my old personality before injury back. I've always been asked if I could have anything back whether it be sight, hearing, no pain or what wouldn't I love to have my sight back. My answer? Not really -- I was always a great thinker and had a memory for everything. I would pick my thought process over everything, and slowly but surely Gunner and America's VetDogs have given that back to me.

Guide Dogs

Service Dogs

Well time to make the donuts; I need to pack for this week. Brian

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