Increasing Importance of Service Dogs

By Shiwen Rong

Sully the 2-year-old yellow lab, also known as the service dog for former President George H. W. Bush, lies near the casket where the former president was placed.

The scene captured peoples’ hearts.

Trained by America’s Vetdogs, Sully is not alone in his mission as a service dog.

Hundreds of service dogs and guide dogs are trained and placed with veterans to assist them in adjusting back to civilian life.

Colton, 5, is also one of them. After being trained by a certified trainer, he helped Tim Stroud, a disabled combat medic from the Iraq war, overcome his trauma.

“I had a lot of social anxiety, because of things I saw and night tremors I had. He was just a Godsend,” Stroud said.

Colton has been a valuable support for his veteran.

“I’ve had three surgeries in the last four years … And with that, he helps me out with mobility,” Stroud said.

Colton can get Stroud his keys, phone, and even use the refrigerator to get him a drink.

However, training the service dogs can cost close to $20,000 and it can take months.