My service dog got hit by a car this morning.

SammyChevelleTypeS3

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I'm a 100% disabled veteran and have a service dog who I trained with through Veterans K9 Solutions. This dog was trained to pick up on my mental health episodes and respond accordingly. She's helped me make good progress these past couple of years.

Last night, I let her out to do her business around 10 pm. After about 10 minutes, I went to let her back in and she wasn't in the backyard. She'd somehow got out of the fence and bolted. I was up to 2 am driving around looking for her with no luck. I hung up 2 of my shirts by the front door along with a bowl of food hoping she'd come back.

This morning, she wasn't back. Then we got a call from the sheriff's office. A car ran over her about 3 miles from our house. Her pelvis is in pieces, her back legs are paralyzed, and she had some internal bleeding. The vets have been attempting to stabilize her over the past few hours with an IV of pain meds and antibiotics. She's responding and some color is coming back to her. They're going to take her for x-rays shortly to see the extent of the damage. The chances of her making a full recovery is very slim. Even with the best case scenario, she'll no longer be fit to be a service dog.

This is hitting me really hard since this dog has been like my best friend for the past 3 years. She goes almost everywhere with me. I'm trying to prepare myself for the worst case scenario.

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SO so sorry to hear this. You can see how smart and devoted that dog looks. I hope you do not lose your friend. but you don't want suffering if that is what it turns to. Hang in there, you are not alone. You are in our prayers.
 

SammyChevelleTypeS3

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TRULY very sorry for your loss.
They kept her sedated and on painkillers. She went peacefully on her own as there was nothing they could do about the internal bleeding. All they could do was make her comfortable. I was holding her when she took her last breath.

Veterans K9 Solutions already has me a replacement. She's a 6 month old yellow lab named Zoey. They're arranging for me to get her next week and get right to training.
one of my sons had to go thru similar to what you just experienced with his longtime beagle (house pet for him & the children). his dog was one that he found and rescued off the streets years before he got married. he told me he was there too just like you were at the end. I know it was hard for the both of you. Good luck with your new one. May she bring you some sunshine and help you move on,
 

RDY4WAR

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Tallulah's remains came in today. This week has been rough. We all miss her like crazy and everything in this house (and outside) reminds me of her. No dog will ever replace Tallulah. She was certainly one of a kind. As long as we hold onto the memories of her, she'll never truly be gone, but will live on with us. RIP Tallulah. Until we meet again.
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SammyChevelleTypeS3

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You will meet again. Sorry for your loss.
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I had always heard of something called The Rainbow Bridge but never seen or hear it. This is a great message of healing and of hope & faith we all can use in our lives at times. The bonds that grow and exist between animals and their owner / care takers is one of the most strong / unique in the universe.
There are some very amazing stories out there about pets and their human owner / friends being separated and then being reunited. There is a very startling one (to non animal folks-yet not really to those of us with the pet bond) that I heard of just this past week.
Pretty amazing story of a cat once again...... https://people.com/pets/lost-cat-travels-1800-miles-from-colorado-to-new-york/
 
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RDY4WAR, I am sorry for your loss. My wife and I don't have children. We do have fur children though. It is very painful to lose a pet. Time will help. I am glad you have another dog now.
 

OVERKILL

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I am so extremely sorry for your loss! I know how hard it is. Hopefully your relationship with Zoey grows quickly and she's able to provide the help that you need.
 

BlueOvalFitter

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The wait to get into the program is currently over a year as the pandemic has slowed things down. Usually from first contact to start of training is about 6 months. That includes the paperwork, meeting with doctors to determine the needs, getting training scheduled, etc... Matching a dog is the easy part. Once you're in, you get priority so if your service dog has to be retired or passes away, they pair you with another right away to ensure you don't go without.

Their training is 30 weeks broken up into 3 phases. The first phase is basic obedience which is 8 weeks and includes your basic commands like sit, heel, automatic sit when you stop, lay down, food avoidance, etc... The second phase is focused obedience which is training the dog to the veteran's needs, how to recognize trouble such as a seizure or panic attack, how to provide stability when walking, how to assist a veteran with standing up, how to fetch things, etc... The third phase is 14 weeks which is the public exposure and fine tuning of specific needs. You go to dog friendly places like Tractor Supply, Lowes, etc... to teach focus on the handler, heeling next to a buggy/cart, interacting (or rather avoidance) of other dogs in public, and so on. They have testing at the end of each phase.

I won't have to go through the course with the new dog. Since I've been through it before and volunteered in helping others (Tallulah was "start student" so to speak so she was used as examples for others), I'll be training her myself at home and just show up for the testing to get certified.

The messed up part (and something that this organization has been fighting for years) is the VA (of all places) does not recognize service dogs as treatment. That's finally starting to change thanks to a law passed earlier this year.
This is so true, and it made me furious! I was eligible for a service dog (1992) but my local VA (In Tampa, FL.) didn't recognize them as a way to deal with PTSD. When I moved back to Louisiana in 2012 I started my classes/meetings again at my local VA.
I still go to my classes/meetings once a week now. I am much better now, but still have nightmares sometimes.
 

RDY4WAR

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It's been a little over 3 weeks and this still hurts like day 1. I've been feeling guilt, mostly regretting every time I didn't let her on the couch or didn't share a bite of my steak or something. I'd give anything to call her up on the couch next to me just one more time.

This is so true, and it made me furious! I was eligible for a service dog (1992) but my local VA (In Tampa, FL.) didn't recognize them as a way to deal with PTSD. When I moved back to Louisiana in 2012 I started my classes/meetings again at my local VA.
I still go to my classes/meetings once a week now. I am much better now, but still have nightmares sometimes.
It's infuriated for me also. I can take my service dog to the store, in restaurants, etc... but not the VA. It's stupid.
 
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It's been a little over 3 weeks and this still hurts like day 1. I've been feeling guilt, mostly regretting every time I didn't let her on the couch or didn't share a bite of my steak or something. I'd give anything to call her up on the couch next to me just one more time.


It's infuriated for me also. I can take my service dog to the store, in restaurants, etc... but not the VA. It's stupid.

You can’t take your service dog with you to the VA ????
 

pbm

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I feel your pain...our dogs really are 'our best friends' Time heals all wounds and your new dog will give you many smiles in the future.
 
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