Testimonials

“Soloman”

“Last Sunday I experienced a triggering event while taking my daughter to work. As i went thru an intersection i saw a body laying in the road, and the police lights were not on. Which tells me the victim was already deceased. But what you don’t know that as Law Enforcement i worked a vehicle pedestrian accident 30 some yrs ago, had nightmare s every night for a year. My service dog Soloman has helped so very much, for this time the effects of the flashbacks lasted less than one minute. He, Sol Soloman, has many of the same anxieties as i, which is why we are so perfectly matched”

I can attest to the wonderful benefits of these service dogs as my son has had one for about a year now. I am thankful for this organization that is providing such a tremendous service in the training and certification of these dogs–as well as other benefits. Many lives will no doubt be saved as a result! We cannot continue to LOSE our beloved, PTSD-suffering veterans at the rate of 22 per day when help may be just a pup away!

“JuJu”

“My Ju is my everything, my lifeline to the outside world. I can now go to the store and not worry about people coming up behind me. I can not worry about panic attacks in public because I know she has me covered. At home she knows when I’m sick before I do, she stays under me and won’t leave. She my friend and my buddy. It’s funny, I can’t go to the bathroom and close the door, she’s pacing back and forth, sometimes cry at the door. I can’t go anywhere in the house long, before a she’s looking for me. I knew service dogs were beneficial to veterans with PTSD, but never to the extent of having one. It’s an Unbreakable bond.”

Rick & “Mika”

Thank you very much for the opportunity to train Mika and for the privilege to call ourselves a service team. It was a wonderful experience to be able to take a great love and apply it to my everyday life, to walk side by side with a childhood companion and rely on it in ways I’ve never thought possible. Programs such as this are a great way for myself and other veterans to further better themselves as we reinsert ourselves into civilian life post deployment or post retirement. Thank you for all this program has given us.

Rick & MIKA TSD0778 .. 10/20/2017

Ashley & “Bella”

I can’t thank TADSAW enough for helping me to train Bella! Jessica is amazing and it was my pleasure working with her. Thank you again for helping me to live a better life with my service dog.

Ashley V

Richard & “Blueberry”

My name is Richard, and firstly I would like to thank everyone at TADSAW for what you do. I was diagnosed with PTSD a few years ago, (which ultimately killed me inside). I felt weak and useless after that. I spent some time in hospitals and after an episode last November I had lost all hope. I was given Bart’s contact information and within days was connected with the wonderful people there. My journey started in January when I met my trainer in Lancaster,PA. She paired me, or I should say the dog found me, with a wonderful rescue/owner surrender. Now 8 months later and we graduated yesterday. Blueberry, TADSAW, and my trainer Michelle have given me the ability to enjoy life outside again. I can now take my kids out without having to constantly worry because I know my Battle will always watch over us. Thank you TADSAW, you have literally saved my marriage and my life.

“Gunny”

Like many family members with Veterans of TBI and PTSD, we are constantly seeking anything and everything that we can get our hands on to help cope or ease some of the symptoms of our war-torn veterans are experiencing. Beginning in October of last year, my husband started slipping away. We made it through December just by a thread and then in January, the bottom fell out on my husband and he tried to commit suicide. Having to have him placed in long term hospitalization was one of the hardest things a spouse/family member could ever face and do alone. I felt helpless in watching my veteran slip further away from me although I was hanging on as tight as I could.

I spoke with Bart Sherwood, the Director of the TADSAW program, I not only felt at ease in what I was applying for but felt like someone actually cared about my husband and my family. After many months of being turned away, shot down, shoved aside, and no one caring….it was a breath of fresh air. The application process was easy so I had my reservations because it was so simple. They proved me wrong though and after many many phone calls with Mr. Sherwood…it was like talking to an old friend. He took the time to get to know us as a couple, my husband as an individual, his struggles and, my family as a whole. After those several failed attempts through another organization, I found that I was absolutely thrilled with this organization. Small, close knit, and full of determination and hope….they not only granted our application but they have now become family to us. Through it all, the factor that sealed the deal with me was that they didn’t care about what my husband did in Iraq. They never asked us if he killed anyone, expected his psychiatrist to release all doctor’s notes or make any demands, or what he went through…they just focused their attention on what his needs now are and what our needs as a family were. You can’t find that information about families like ours on an application or get to know them.

Pairing the perfect Battle Buddy for my husband was a thorough process and one that I do believe was a match made in heaven.  We didn’t care what kind of dog it was, didn’t matter where he came from as long as he was good for my husband, my kids and our other small dog. “Gunny” was after long deliberation, the perfect match they made. “Gunny” was actually scheduled to be euthanized when he was rescued. The months went by with phone calls and “Gunny’s” training with the Trainers. He surpassed his testing and before we knew it, we were on the plane to San Antonio, TX, where the foundation is located.

It feels like “Gunny” has always been with us from the first. He has the patience, the will to fight and never falters even when tasks involve a ton of people, stress and change of routines. “Gunny” is part of the family now and spoiled rotten. He plays hard and works even harder. The commands he learned are amazing and unless you have actually been around one of these dogs, you will never comprehend what dogs are doing for our Wounded Warriors.

Having a service animal is a challenge in today’s society and as most owners of them say, it’s a double edged sword. However, we find even with the staring, the stupid comments and questions, it’s worth it to see my husband have the willingness, courage and faith to get back out a little. It’s not a cure, and it’s not going to take all the bad things away but somehow it has made things easier and brought our family back together a little.

I can’t imagine a day that goes by without “Gunny” nearby. He is not only good for my husband in many ways, but good for me as well. He knows the days where I am sick and hurting, resting his head close or on the places that hurt me so badly. I have woken many nights to find him sitting on the bed and watching over my husband and will do so as long as it takes my husband to go to sleep or barking to wake him up from nightmares. The more he is with us, the more he picks up on routines, knows our behaviors and knows just the right moment to love on us as if to say “It’s ok, I’m here”.

The TADSAW program is in need of help to keep going. What started out small has become such a popular thing that they are experiencing worldwide cries for help just like they heard mine. On the average currently, most service animal or therapy dog organizations are about a 2-4 year wait. “Gunny” isn’t a full blooded dog, and God only knows what he is actually mixed with but to us he is an angel in disguise flying close to the ground and an answer to a long awaited prayer I have had. From start to finish, training a dog and getting through their ADA recognition, Good Canineship testing and everything else that goes with it, is approximately $2500.00. They are looking for additional sponsors for wounded warriors, sponsorships for their therapy dogs and help getting the Veterans there, a place to stay and be taken care of for three weeks. Based in TX, they are also looking for volunteers, foster care for dogs awaiting training, and help with the food, lodging and other incidentals that occur while the soldier/veteran is there training.

I challenge each of you to give back to those who gave us all. It’s easy for us to sit back and shed a tear for those who felt there was no hope left and against all odds, took their own lives. Somewhere out there, there is an animal who just longs for a home and love. Let’s pair them up and let them save each other. I want to thank TADSAW. There isn’t a day where “Gunny” hasn’t walked the civilian battlefield side by side, with my husband and I, leading the way. Every day I see my husband smile, have a purpose and a drive to keep going. That has been the greatest gift anyone could have ever given us and for that, we are forever thankful and indebted to you. You are our family now just as any TADSAW family has become to us. You should be proud of all you have done and your accomplishments but more importantly know that you saved so many from sinking when all doors were otherwise closed.

Uncle Sam’s Mistress – 11/16/17

“Lunch”

In January 2010 I suffered life threatening injuries that I will never fully recover from. As a result of these injuries I suffer from PTSD, chronic pain, and depression. PTSD caused my depression, the chronic pain magnifies it. I either hurt or I hurt a lot, I am never pain free. It takes more effort to socialize and have a life when you hurt, which increases my depression, which makes me want to be alone. Being alone is depressing. It is easy to fall into a pity party circle. Pain affect every part of my life. It slows my thinking and can make the most basic task a chore. I bought my car because the seat helps my pain, my chair at work was bought for me. My first consideration when going to a restaurant for the first time is the type of seating available. There isn’t any part of my life that isn’t effected by pain. I’m not a whiner. I don’t like pity parties. I don’t accept them from others and I won’t have my own. I constantly struggle with maintaining a positive atitude. I am a happy person with a positive outlook. I will be happy no matter how depressied I am. A positive happy person that is depressed, sounds like a sit-com. I live in relative isolation. I go to work, then home. My outside the home activity is grocery shopping. Living in isolation is not a life, it was not my life before I was injured, and it is not the life I want now. I know I need to get out. I just don’t want to. This is the type of conflicting thoughts that depression causes. Living a life outside my personal shell is an effort. With the help of my Service dog, Lunch, I am able to fight the urge to hide and withdraw. Lunch is a good-looking dog and attracts more attention than any dog I have owned. Lunch forces me to interact with people. Men, women, and children. I almost never leave the house without having people approach me wanting to pet Lunch and ask me about him. For me Lunch’s main task is that of an Emotional Support Animal, ESA. The law considers ESA animals pets. Lunch is not a pet; he is a documented Service Animal. He will help remove me from situations if I become overstressed. He will stand still if I need to brace against something or if I need a little help standing. Lunch is always ready without complaint when I need him. As an ESA Lunch keeps me distracted. which allows me to concentrate on what I am doing. Taking a dog, no matter how well trained, out in public takes effort. Lunch required direction, I have to watch him and the people around him. People can be a challenge; they want to talk to my dog, call him, offer him treats and distract him from his job. The effort it takes to keep Lunch on track helps distract me from thinking about how much I hurt, which allows me to concentrate on what I need to do. From time to time I am overcome with pain so stron I shut down as I try to cope. Thinking is almost impossible, I can’t carry on a conversation, I can’t do anything. When this happens, I need to sit or lay down and be left alone. Friend and family try hard to help me feel better. They can’t. There is nothing that can be done. I understand people want to help, they can’t. I just want to be left alone as the waves of pain pass. When I have one of these atttacks Lunch will sit next to me, or often on my feet. He is just waiting. Having him with me is such a mental relief as I recover. He doesn’t try to help or talk to me when I am not able to answer, he doesn’t keep asking what he can do, and he doesn’t look uncomfortable being around me, he simply waits for me. The motion of scratching him or puttin my hand on his back helps me regain focus and move on. Having my service dog has been a big plus to my quality of life. There are dozens of service dog organizations out there for Veterans. I think I contacted all of them asking for help. All of them were glad to provide me with THEIR dog; I already had a well-trained dog, I did not need another one. TADSAW was the only organization that offered to help me document my pet as a Service Dog and they continue to assist me as needed. Thank you TADSAW for your help and for looking out for VETs.

“Cashe”

Just like to say thank you Bart and TADSAW for taking Cashe and myself, I know we took awhile to train but we learned a lot and are doing very well together, I’m glad I took my time and had a few bumps Cashe turned three in February so he’s working on his adultness if you would. I am going to try my best to Support TADSAW here in Columbus, GA, along with Marbles to help with new guys coming in and show what the pup can do once trained. IT takes a lot of hands on time yourself outside of the training days, I don’t think a lot of vets realize this, the ones that do excel at the program.

Again Thank You.