Zeus — Service

Sponsor: Lulu's Fund
Location: Antioch, Illinois

Zeus has been my service dog for 4 years, after being rescued from a shelter. Now, I say that I rescued Zeus, but in reality He rescued Me.. many many times. You see, after being injured in a blast in Iraq, one that took the lives of my brothers in arms.. I was sent home. Although I tried to leave that field behind.. it followed me everywhere. Every face, every sound, every single day I was still battling. At the suffering of my family and counselor, it was suggested that I get a service dog. That’s when Zeus came into my life. After training, he was ready to actively work with me and my family could see differences. More importantly I felt different. Zeus has been a barrier between my PTSD and life. Where before, in any given situation my breathing would become shallow, my heart would race, my head would feel like an explosive device, and my vision would blur..Zeus somehow is able to sense that BEFORE it begins. He circles around me, in a protective manner. It’s as if he’s saying to me, your home Shane. You’re not in danger. You’re going to live. It’s not an easy task, I imagine, for this animal to calm down a 300lb combat veteran.. but he does it. Diligently, loyally, and he works me until I am able to function. He puts his body on my legs, he has even alerted once while in the car and saved my life.
How can I say this is just a dog. I cannot. He’s my friend. My life saver, my path back to living life in the present. He’s saved me.

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