WUFT News

A Bark Sweeter Than The Bite: Man’s Best Friend Aids Veterans

By on December 16th, 2013

The Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs organization held its third annual Passing of the Leash event on Saturday, where disabled owners are officially paired with a service dog to help them with their specific needs.

Brian Duelz, an ex-member of the U.S. military, has dealt with night terrors since he retired in 2006. Up until a couple of months ago, Duelz hadn’t gotten a good night’s sleep. Duelz was paired with Remy, the German Shepard service dog, through the service dog organization,which is based in Williston, Fla.

“My main thing is my nightmares and other things of that nature,” Duelz said. “If I’m starting to have a night terror, Remy will jump up on the bed and start licking me until I wake up or enough to where I get out of that and can go back to sleep.”

The organization trains dogs and pairs them with the mentally and physically disabled. In the short amount of time he’s had Remy, Duelz has noticed a huge change in his ability to sleep.

 “(The service dogs) are just phenomenal,” he said. “I probably hadn’t had a good night of sleep since I retired in 2006, or even before then, but two months ago I actually slept for eight full hours.”

Carol Borden, executive director and founder of the Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, is happy to see all of the new owners and their dogs symbolically walk across the stage at the Passing of the Leash event. According to Borden, it’s difficult to get on the waiting list for a service dog, and the process itself involves a lot of paperwork and background checks.

“We have a very long waiting list, up to four years…” Borden said. “After we have the dog ready for them, the people will join the dogs for training and then they’ll start working together as a team.”

More than 10 owners were officially paired with their service dogs at the event on Saturday, and they all mentioned how much they’re looking forward to this new partnership in their speeches.

Borden said that seeing the owners walk across the stage with their service dogs during the Passing of the Leash event was very gratifying and emotional.

“Our main goal as an organization is to make sure that we try to help better the lives of the people who truly need it,” she said. “I’ve been doing this for three years now and every year all of the personal accounts of the new owners’ lives prior to pairing up with their dog really show me just how much of a difference we’re making.”


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Local

Gainesville's Labor Daze Fest attracted attendees for music and political conversation. Jon Uman, candidate for State House 21, was also in attendance.

Labor Daze Fest Provides Venue for Music and Politics

Gainesville’s annual Labor Day event, Labor Daze Fest, attracted visitors for fun as well as for political conversation. Minimum wage and labor unions were among the topics some attendees hoped to hear more about.


Alachua County Sheriff’s Office To Supervise Waldo After Ticketing Charges

A plan, under development, would allow the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office to supervise Waldo police operations after allegations that the former chief and interim chief established illegal ticketing quotas.


University of Florida President Bernie Machen is doused with ice water for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Machen was nominated to participate in the nationwide campaign by Kéran Billaud, a Ph.D. student at UF.

UF President Participates in ALS ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’

University of Florida President Bernie Machen participated in the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge” on Monday. Machen nominated all YouTube viewers as well as the president of UF Student Government and the vice president of the UF Division of Student Affairs.


State Buys Land For Florida Greenway

State park managers have said they will be buying or trading land in Marion, Palm Beach, and Jackson counties. This is to fill the gaps of the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway, a recreational outdoor area that spans 110 [...]


The charred remains of a Levy County home are all that remain following a fire that killed two people early Wednesday morning, August 20, 2014. (Virginia Hamrick/WUFT News)

Two People Die in Levy County Home Fire

Local law enforcement and the State Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating a mobile home fire that occurred in Levy County early Wednesday morning.  Lt. Scott Tummond of Levy County Sheriff’s Office said the Bronson Fire Department responded to calls at [...]


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments