(111) To the Rescue

Molly, the service dog

Golly, Miss Molly

A Blog about a Service Dog and her Veteran with PTSD

(Supporting the Veteran and the Family Caregiver)

The paw-shaped bumper sticker caught my attention despite its grammatical error. It read, “Who Rescued Who?” The meaning flashed into my head, as I wished Molly had accompanied us to Costco to help William. The noise, the crowd, and my shopping speed pressed against my husband, nearly pushing him over the edge. Molly would have comforted him with her presence and helped him balance when the clerk jerked the cart away from my Veteran as he leaned against it.

The company we bought Molly from acquired her as a rescue dog. The family that raised her from a pup could no longer afford to feed her. It did not take long for our trainer to identify her as a perfect fit to help William. Not only is her mixed breed as a Saint Bernard/Great Pyrenees perfect for a service animal, her strength and girth made her the best candidate to help my 6’ 4” Veteran with balance.

While we saved Molly from certain doom, Molly is the one who saved us. She prevented me from falling many times while undergoing chemotherapy and she assists William daily with PTSD and his balance issues.

Veterans tell me their service dogs changed their lives, too. Many refer to their service animals as lifesavers, best friends, indispensable, or as their only connection with the world. A female Veteran told me her service dog is her soul mate. Wow, we should declare a National Service Dog month.

Is There Really a National Service Dog Month?

September is National Service Dog month. This will be the perfect time to thank our service dogs. Get ready now, as we owe it to our canine lifesavers to thank them for their contributions to our Veterans and to others with disabilities.

As for now, William and I are preparing for Miss Molly’s birthday, which we will celebrate on August 1. Before my husband’s diabetes and Molly’s weight problem, I would have baked a white cake with layers of icing and dog bones to top the cake. Now, we will settle with a walk down the hill, a romp among the wild flowers, and an extra can of food in her evening meal.

Thunder Coat to the Rescue 

Molly seeks comfort with William in stormAs an early birthday gift, William bought Molly a Thunder Shirt thanks to Tina Y., a loyal Molly Blog reader and dear friend. Tina told us about a coat she bought for her dog that wraps around the dog to help reduce anxiety during thunderstorms. Living in Tesla Land*, electrical storms strike in summer as often as the sun sets. Molly detests the thunder and shivers with lightening. She insists on jumping into any lap available when a storm hits so she makes a good candidate for the apparel.

Molly loves her new coat. It fits snugly and lends a sense of well-being and safety. TheMolly relaxes in her thunder coat manufacturer claims that the Thundershirt controls barking, leash pulling, and anxiety from separation, noise, traveling, and more. Trainers use the coat for behavioral issues. What a great gift for the important canine in your life.

If only they could make a Thunder coat for the Veteran to reduce PTSD anxiety!

*Nikola Tesla, nicknamed, The Master of Lightening, invented many things electrical, including designing alternating current. He experimented in our city in the late 1800s because of the amazing electrical storms. At his experimental station on the prairie near Pikes Peak Mountain, Tesla inadvertently took down the entire electrical grid of our city, becoming despised among the population. He also claimed he received radio waves from outer space. Our city is home to NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, so maybe Tesla really did communicate with outer space from our mountain.

Join the Molly blog team on Friday, July 31, as we celebrate Miss Molly’s birthday one day early.

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How do you celebrate your pet’s birthday? Please reply below. 

About the blogger 

Dr. Penelope “Penny” Culbreth-Graft is a retired city manager and graduate professor. She lives with her disabled Vietnam Veteran husband, William, and his service dog, Molly, on Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado. She writes, paints, cares for her husband, and spends time with her granddaughter.