Carl is an active duty officer who served 10 years in Special Ops. Upon returning home he was diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, depression and hypervigilance – whenever he goes somewhere he’s always “on high alert constantly assessing exits & threats”. He’d heard of fellow soldiers who had success managing these symptoms by working with a service dog, so he applied to a handful of government funded programs for one of his own. Unfortunately, he was denied by all of them. After researching & asking around, he found a Malinois breeder in Virginia that had a few puppies left from a litter. One of those puppies, of course, was Max & the rest, as they say, was history.
We met Carl & Max at the Warrior Games this past June where we sponsored Veterans and their service dogs. We knew instantly that they shared an incredibly special bond, their connection was one of trust, comfort & appreciation for each other. It was truly heartwarming.
When we heard Carl talk about Max, we noticed his voice immediately light up. He said, “I’ll tell you, Max is special. As a service dog they don’t want you to have people say hi to him. Literally I’ve walked him on base and I had a gentleman do a U-turn in a truck and stop in the middle of the street, just to meet Max. He’s just SO special…”
After spending the afternoon with Carl & Max, we learned that Max recently started experiencing health issues – he suffered 2 seizures over the course of just a couple months along with a Lyme diagnosis. We knew we had to help & offered them nutritional guidance, emotional support and promised to be a resource for any questions they may have. After all, a dog isn’t just a pet, they are a part of the family, and in this case – even more than that.