Coffey — Service

Location: Austin, Texas

Coffey has truly saved and changed my life.

After three separate healthcare professionals told me I should get a dog — whether for support or, ultimately, service — I finally gave in. I went to a municipal shelter one town over from our no-kill city, and while my intention was to get a small dog to be an ESA, I found this big sweet guy right up front. We had this spark of a bond, but I wasn’t sure I could take a large dog. Then, as it turned out to be his last few hours at this shelter before being scheduled for euthanasia, I knew he must come home with me.

Intending for this big boy to be an ESA, I started out slow. Coffey really had no intention of simply meeting expectations, however, and within days was picking up on more and more things he could do for me. It was amazing. With a little guidance, he was able to start providing mobility support. And with no real prodding needed, he figured out how to alert to multiple types of PTSD symptoms, picking up episodes of panic before they even happened, assist in recovering from them, prevent attempted self-harm, and so on.

Before we officially made the call to push his training into service level, Coffey had already decided that was what I needed, so that is what he would be.

This hero dog has been arguably the number one driving factor in my ability to recover some sense of “normal” as well as I am able. That clichĂ© of who saved who is easily answered for us — we saved each other. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

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