Service dog helps Veteran with PTSD

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A dog really is a man's best friend.

A Southwest Louisiana organization is doing more than just making a match, but training special dogs to help special heroes.

Veteran Randy Laid has been dealing with PTSD since he came home after serving in Iraq.

And while Laid has already made great strides to recovery, he will now have some extra help.

"I wanted a dog for a long time, but with PTSD it's hard to leave them at the house," said Laird. "I would get worried about him."

But this soldier is not just getting any dog; he's getting a service dog that has a success story of his own.

Cole was rescued from animal control.

Molly Frank helped rescue Cole. She cared for him and trained him to serve.

"The dog heals and it enables him to not go shopping at Walmart at 3 a.m., but to actually function in a place like this with people and a crowd," said Frank.

Frank is part of the Patriot Dog Program.

The Patriot Dog Program, through People's Advocate Southwest Louisiana, starts by rescuing dogs close to euthanization and then trains them to help Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The program also starts a dog's service training by it helping children and women at-risk.

"A dog can talk to you without words and that helps a Veteran who is not really talkative," said Patriot Dog Program Member, Leo Stanford.

And Laird said he's thankful for the program and Cole.

"Going to Walmart is just a horrible ordeal," said Laird. "It makes me stressful, angry, upset, and if I can have the dog there with me, I can pet him and it kind of grounds me and brings me back to reality."

Proving without words, Cole can speak straight to Randy's heart. And that makes these two heroes the perfect match.

For more information, call People's Advocate SWLA at 337-436-3475.

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