"After they came back from Afghanistan, they carried around with them an invisible ailment called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD for short.
- P = post = after
- T = traumatic = Oh My God, that really happened!
- S = Stress = the inability to handle
- D = Disorder = not occurring in all humans
With that came panic attacks set off by otherwise normal stuff - too many people in close proximity at the grocery store for example - as well as a heavy dose of paranoia which is the insistent urge to be constantly overly alert. These are pretty basic and are seen in nearly every returning war veteran, every first responder, as well as women who have been assaulted.
This person got lucky. A young dog came tripping (quite literally) into their life and the rest, as they say, is history.
But not really.
Every moment of every day, this dog is doing things to help their human cope - instead of sitting next to the owner, facing forward, the dog does an about-face and sits facing backwards. It's strange to see, for sure, but the reason is that this dog is "watching the 6" - a military term used for anything directly behind you. If anyone were to walk up to the human, the dog will react in some way, whether it's standing up, wagging the tail, looking up at the human, something. In this way, this dog's partner does not have to worry about anyone sneaking up behind them. This is ONE thing this dog does, among many others. ONE thing chosen to be of the most use. For the dog, it's work but they will do it unceasingly, because the human is their ONE thing."
- Bridget Meidinger
Professional Dog Trainer