This has been a very busy period of time for Iris and I, it seems like we have been running all over the place since the last time I updated the blog. In reality only a week has past since my last update. The Vetdogs 5K was a complete Success in Annapolis and everyone involved appeared to have a great time. I do not know what the final numbers were as far as amounts raised for future service dogs for other disabled veterans but I do know that more people are aware of the need to have programs like this.
So many volunteers got involved in setting things up this year that the course was setup on Sat along with the building that was used as central base for all the registration and product sales. So many thanks go out to Lisa seen here by the Flag for all the help she puts in every year to make this event happen.
This years guest speaker was a local area veteran with a guide/service dog from VetDogs. Yes that is right I said a Guide/Service dog, you see America's VetDogs is part of the Guidedog Foundation which allows it to be in a unique position to help our nations veterans in so many ways. Back after WWII there was a need for Guide Dogs to help out our nations service members that were suffering from blindness from the war. The Guide Dog Foundation was formed and has been around since then. America's VetDogs was formed because the need for a different type of helper dog was needed. The Service Dog program was put together and certified to allow our Veterans with needs other then blindness to be helped.
Brian, is one of those special Hero's that actually falls into both categories, his injuries caused him to be legally blind requiring his dog to be a Guide dog but he has a TBI and PTSD issues so his dog is also trained for seizure and nightmare interruption. VetDogs is one of the only organizations that has the Dual accreditation to be able to do this kind of training. Many people out there do not realize the great work this organization does to fill the needs of our veterans.
One of the other things that many people don't realize is that ADI requires recertification of all service dogs and the user. The team is graded on the ability to work in the public and is not just graduated out into the community and forgotten about. Iris and I were re-certified this past weekend while we did the trip to Smithtown and then to MD. VetDogs has upped the reward for re-certifying by giving new gear to the team once they pass the ADI requirements. As you can see with the picture of Iris and I on the finish line she looks great sporting her new vest.
As always here is the info on the fundraising page for VetDogs Attention: I have a Personal Fundraising Page for VetDogs Now! Please follow this link and make a donation to help another veteran like me get a service dog.