Cowboy — Service

Location: Lafayette, Oregon

Hello, I am Cassandra. I am a medically retired Army NG Soldier of 13 years. I injured my back in Iraq in 09, my lower back fused. In 12, I was hit into a semi-truck; I broke my femur(rod in place) & other injuries, spent 16 days in the trauma ward. I never thought I would walk again, but over 2 years I regained walking with physical therapy & operations. My mobility issues are also, degenerative arthritis, & Fibromyalgia. I wear braces on both my legs. I also, have PTSD from my injuries that keep being active with my two boys.

I found Cowboy at Joys of Living Assistance Dogs of Salem, Oregon. Cowboy is a fully trained service dog & an approved Veteran Service Dog from Veteran Affairs. Cowboy’s main training is for mobility issues. Cowboy is able to notice my moods with PTSD. While traveling in a crowed shuttle bus with my family I had a PTSD episode in which I lost where I was & what I was doing. Cowboy had been trained on buses & knew how to get out. He was able to pull me to the exit while nudging people out of the way to make a path for me to exit the bus. This is nothing we had trained for & goes to show you how well we were matched.

Cowboy is my lifesaver & holds me up. He is my partner who allows me to live a more active life my family & I deserve. I am no longer fearful of new situations, I know Cowboy has my back. I feel like we are goodwill ambassadors for Service Dogs & Veterans. For these these reasons & more, I believe he is a hero dog and my hero.

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