Abby Ann — Service

Location: Johnson City, New York

Abby Ann is my PTSD service dog. I have had her since she was 8 weeks old. She has dramatically changed my life. From hitting rock bottom and being a survivor of suicide attempts, almost losing the love from my son, to now being able to interact within a public setting and feeling confident about myself and raising my self esteem. The organization I went through to train Abby Ann, Stand With Me, is a small non-profit that with the guidance of a professional trainer, the veteran trains the service dog. This training has helped me gain confidence in myself and Abby Ann has literally saved my life. Now, Abby Ann and I work with Stand With Me to advocate for service dogs with public presentations and we also mentor other students with the organization through their training. Abby Ann has given me focus and helped me rebuild a relationship with my son. Abby Ann is my best friend, companion and is unconditional in her love and loyalty to me. Abby Ann is more of a human to me that most I have come in contact with. Non-judgmental, shows empathy, understands my moods and reacts to them willingly and without fail. You honestly don’t know what that means until you actually need and have a service dog. My life revolves around her and I revolve around her life, I breathe because of her. Photograph is Abby Ann at Ice Fest, which I would not have been able to go and be in a public setting without her. Abby Ann literally goes everywhere with me. She let’s me live a full life.

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