Gunner — Service
I served 20 years in the US Army. I am 100 % disabled due to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) following my service in Iraq. I was recently diagnosed with Cortical Blindness and am losing my vision due to my TBI. Enter Gunner, a 6-year old Great Pyrenees mobility-assistance service dog. He’s been with me since 2013 and has given me a new life. I have periods where my legs & arms randomly cooperating with the rest of my body. This is where Gunner comes in. Gunner is trained to assist me in the same manner as a cane. I push against him to stand from a seated position. I hold on to his harness so he can pull me up. He pulls my wheelchair when my legs aren’t working, and licks me on the face to distract me when anxiety gets the best of me. He also watches my back and alerts me when someone is approaching from behind and creates a safe space around me so that people do not violate my personal space. Gunner gave me back the will to live. He has given me back my ability to feel independent. He helps me be more involved with my children & my marriage. I know without a doubt that I would not be here if it weren’t for Gunner. He is my hero and my battle buddy. I cannot do life without him. Gunner breaks all molds when it comes to a service dog. He loves to ride roller coasters, trains, air planes…basically anything that moves! He does a lot for public education on service dogs. He is also the first Great Pyrenees to ever win the AKC ACE Awards!