The Aspen’s Wind of Change — Service

Charity Partner: ADI
Location: Lakewood, Colorado

Aspen has been in my life for almost a year and a half now, I adopted her from a shelter as an 8 month old puppy in hopes of her becoming my owner trained service dog. A shelter dog becoming a service dog is a hard thing to accomplish all on its own; the back story of the dog is usually not known, so I really didn’t know what I was getting with Aspen. Yet, when she was taken out to see me, the first thing she did was rest her head in my lap; I knew I had to give this dog a shot. Boy am I glad I did, she helps me every day. Her buffering is a major help to me because I have non-combat PTSD which is a very hard thing to deal with so I constantly need space between myself and others, and she willingly provides that space that I need. When Aspen does deep pressure therapy it’s also a big help because I tend to get easily overwhelmed when there are a lot of people; so, when asked, she puts her body-weight on me which helps to calm me down and bring me out of the dissociative spell I am in. Touching (her alert to impending anxiety attacks) is an extremely valuable task she performs for me because if I have an anxiety attack I freeze up and don’t want to move. Her alert with her nose to the impending attack has helped me multiple times to know that’s what is about to happen, so I can pet her for tactile stimulation and focus on petting her instead of seeing my anxiety attack through to the end. The shelter dog I took a chance on saves my life every day; She is my American Hero Dog.