Michael spent 7 years in the Air Force as a Medic. While deployed to Afghanistan, the Army unit he was attached to saw daily convoys outside the wire, and experienced multiple IEDS, gunshots and mortar attacks. Michael is diagnosed with PTSD. He experiences flashbacks to his time in service, has detached from relationships with family and friends, and avoids places that remind him of his experiences. He lacks focus, has trouble sleeping at night, and is often irritable. Michael hopes an Assistance Dog will allow him to feel confident when out in public, so he can engage with his wife and young son, and be the Dad and Husband that they deserve.
When Michael met ELSA in July 2019, their friendship blossomed instantly! ELSA, a fun-loving Golden Retriever, will help Michael on his continued journey to recovery by paying attention when in crowded public places, and alerting to his rising anxiety levels. She will also anchor to his anxiety, allowing him to recover from the situation quicker. With ELSA by his side, Michael will have the opportunity to get out of the shadows, and experience a full and happy life with his young family once again.