Chelsea — Service

Charity Partner: America's Vet Dogs
Location: Wilmington, Illinois

Chelsea’s life was never supposed to be that of a service dog. She was supposed to be an all around family dog for my kids, all of that changed when I got hurt while on active duty in the Navy. I was diagnosed with PTSD and an Anxiety disorder from events earlier on in my military career, plus a broken foot turned into me developing a rare condition that has left me partially paralyzed and using a brace to walk. These injuries led to debilitating depression as well. During that entire process of ups and downs, therapy and life changing events, my wife saw a change in how Chelsea acted. If I was depressed Chelsea was on my lap, if I got up to move Chelsea followed, she was my shadow. When I was sitting, her head was resting on my damaged foot. My wife knew before I did that Chelsea would become my service dog. When I returned home after being retired we started the training process through the non-profit 1Pet1Vet. She became good citizen certified in 3 months and is at the end of her full certification.

Chelsea gave me my life back. She gave me back the ability to be a husband and a father again, a functioning member of society. Instead of sitting on the couch in deep depression Chelsea brings me out that darkness and into my families lives. She accompanies me on trips ( I am in the USA paralympic volleyball pipeline and participate in the Warrior Games). She gave me the ability to be in public again. Without Chelsea, MY HERO, the depression would have won, I would have lost