Hero Pups Offer Comfort, Confidence For Veterans & First Responders (+podcast)

Sunday, March 17 2024 by Richard D. Hunt

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"The bond is really tight – and they continue to move forward together. So, they’re still learning things…together.”
Hero Pups
"The bond is really tight – and they continue to move forward together. So, they’re still learning things…together.”

Veterans and first responders face scenes and situations most of us could not even imagine. At times, the reality of their work can become difficult to process – and could lead to stress and even PTSD. But there are rays of light to encourage them. One of them is Laura Barker, the founder of Hero Pups in Stratham, New Hampshire, near Boston. 

“Post traumatic stress takes on a lot of different forms, and it affects everybody in their life, not just that one individual – it’s the family members, it’s the co-workers.”

There was a veteran who said he tells his dog things he could never tell another living being. “And the dog sits there and listens and doesn’t complain.”

Laura has been a dog rescuer for years, but her interest in seeing loving dogs comfort soldiers came when her son was badly wounded while serving in Afghanistan. At the hospital she saw comfort service dogs in place to help the injured keep their spirits up while recuperating. 

Back home, she became involved with training choice puppies to honor and encourage a person in need of them. And Hero Pups was created 

“The hero, as we call them, they never meet the dog until the dog is 8 or 10 months old. We want to make sure the dog is able to have a service life and likes to work.” And this process requires research and insight to create the best dog/hero match. “Being able to pair the right dog with the right person means that the bond is really tight – and they continue to move forward together. So, they’re still learning things…together.”

“The most rewarding thing you can do is have an impact on somebody else’s life!"
[Photo Credit: Hero Pups] “The most rewarding thing you can do is have an impact on somebody else’s life!"

Laura shares one encounter that touched her heart. There was a veteran who said he tells his dog things he could never tell another living being. “And the dog sits there and listens and doesn’t complain.” Laura believes, “The dogs don’t care what your backstory is, they care about you right now…they just want to try to make you feel better and be a part of your life.”

And for Laura, “The most rewarding thing you can do is have an impact on somebody else’s life! And I’ve gotten to be a part of that 220 times now.” 220 Veterans and first responders blessed by this non-profit outreach, staffed by all-volunteer people who are committed to the mission.

Hear our full interview about this remarkable project, and equally remarkable woman, Laura Barker.

Hero Pups
[Photo Credit: Hero Pups] Hero Pups
Hero Pups
[Photo Credit: Hero Pups] Hero Pups

 

© 2024 K-LOVE News

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