Why We Believe in K9s For Warriors
Throughout the team Ohana journey, we have had the honor of meeting many of the K9s For Warriors trainers and warrior dogs.
I pulled into K9s For Warriors terrified. I used up every last bit of my strength to get there. I knew this had to work because I had nothing left to give. Everything was on the line.
When I walked in those doors, the first thing I heard was ‘welcome home’. Even through my fear, I felt the first flickers of hope. All those nights I spent worrying about how I’d be treated and if I’d be comfortable staying here—were for nothing. I instantly felt safe and welcomed.
We were shown the campus housing and given secure key cards to our private rooms soon after arriving. The rooms were beautiful and had everything needed for our time here. There was a SUPER comfy queen bed, a dresser, tv, desk, large closet, end table, and even a table fan for us hot sleepers! There is also a dog bed, but what’s mine is Snickers’, so I shared the queen bed with him! The setup ended up being a perfect mix of privacy and shared space, so Snickers and I were able to bond with the other Warriors on campus, but also retreat and relax privately after a long day. My hypervigilant mind was also happy to know that each room has a lock.
Because I felt so safe in the housing here, I was able to focus on bonding with Snickers right away. Within a week into training, he was ‘booping’ me awake to stop the cycle of nightmares. He became in tune with my breathing and let me know when I needed to leave an area before things got too overwhelming. He sat next to me and watched my back, leaning into me when someone was coming up so I wouldn’t be startled.
By the time we left campus, I felt the heaviness of all the worries I’d been carrying start to evaporate. I had built this up as a last-ditch effort and had planned on it failing like everything else I’d tried. But after meeting Snickers and having time to bond with him in a safe, comfortable place, I knew that this was different. I knew that my life was forever changed. This enormous fluffball of unconditional love somehow knew how to fit all my broken pieces back together with a bat of his eyelashes and an ear lick.