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

A group of 'dirty kids' fly a sign on the corner of SE 1st St and SE 2nd Pl while one patches up a jacket and another plays guitar on Jan. 23, 2015 in Gainesville​. Photo by Andrea Sarcos/WUFT News

‘Home-Free’ Squatters Find Community In Gainesville

An abandoned house in Gainesville became a home for a group of individuals that call themselves “dirty kids.” The dirty kids feel that they are different from homeless people.


IMG_8377

Chicken House Fire Kills 24,000 Chicks

Chickens die in a chicken house fire at Saavedra Farms on Wednesday night.


featured

Gainesville Family First To Win The Michelle Park Family Recreation Scholarship

The Garrity family is the first family to receive the Michelle Park Family Recreation Scholarship from the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department. The scholarship is valued at $1,500 and was created for families to engage in recreational and cultural activities for free.


Gabrielle Steinberg, 22 months old, digs in the soil and pots a baby plant. The activity was part of the Kids Area crafting section of the festival.

Kanapaha Spring Garden Festival Flourishes Over the Weekend

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens hosted the 24th annual Spring Garden Festival over the weekend. The festival flourished with thousands of attendees including, families, horticulturalists and garden appreciators who enjoyed the first days of the spring at the garden.


IMG_0565

Bryant House To Become Historic Resource Center

The Historic Ocala Preservation Society purchased the 120-year-old Bryant House in August 2013 with the goal of turning it into a resource center for historic research. After restoring the exterior and first floor of the Bryant House, the society is taking steps to transform the front parlor and hope to have the room open by summer.


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
Underwriting Payments