Echo — Service
Echo is my American Hero Dog. This photograph of her was taken on the date of this application.
We graduated from the K9 Partners for Patriots (K9P4P) program a year ago and I was so impressed with the training and family atmosphere that I have continued to assist the training staff ever since with Echo as my partner.
She is my everything. Because of her, I am able to deal with the outside world as I had shut myself off from everyone and everything after my final deployment. She helps me turn my focus away from bad memories and situations. One look into her beautiful eyes (one brown, one blue), and I am able to refocus myself and deal with situations. She helps me deal with my anger issues with just her presence, but her real talent is recognizing when I am having a mental health emergency or a migraine. She pushes against me and licks my face if she can to alert me to my own issues. One night out of state she literally saved my life. I was under extreme stress, having a panic attack, and contemplating suicide. She pushed onto me and would not let me up until I was able to regain myself. If she had not been with me, I do not know what the outcome would have been.
I am a combat Veteran with diagnosed TBI, PTSD, and MST. She is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I love my Echo!