Ken served 10 ½ years in the Army as an Infantryman and Mortarman. During his service, he deployed twice to Iraq, where he was involved in a gun-truck roll-over accident while trying to avoid an IED, resulting in a TBI and nerve damage in his spine. He has severe memory problems, suffers from nightmares, PTSD, depression, anxiety, chronic migraines and fibromyalgia. He experiences angry outbursts, hypersomnia (narcolepsy), balance problems and hearing difficulties as well. After being medically retired from the Army, Ken returned to school, and learned about paws4people when he joined and completed the Service Dog Training Program at UNCW. Ken is tired of feeling like he has no control over his mental and emotional state and having nothing to keep him grounded. He hopes that an Assistance Dog will help him take his life back!
In June 2019, Ken met DOTTIE, a sweet and fun-loving Lab who will give Ken the confidence boost he needs to live a full life again. DOTTIE will help Ken while in public by anchoring to his rising anxiety, paying attention, and alerting to people coming up behind him. This will help to relieve some of Ken’s hypervigilance. She will also wake Ken from nightmares, allowing for a more restful night’s sleep, so he can wake ready to face the next day! We are proud of the work this team is doing together, and cannot wait to see where this journey takes them.