He Was Rescued From The Pound As A Puppy. Now, He’s Helping Soldiers Who Need It Most!Ashley Maisano
Dogs are amazing animals and they can always sense when something is wrong. They are always there to welcome us home after a long day and comfort us when we are feeling down. Therapy dogs do this every day as their job. There are many types of therapy dogs who focus on different people. Some help comfort sick people at hospitals, some help people who suffer from high stress and anxiety, and others help returning soldiers who struggle with PTSD.
When it comes to PTSD therapy, this four-year-old Great Dane named Bandit is amazing at comforting people. Bandit was rescued when he was just 14 weeks old from almost certain euthanasia after being abandoned at the pound. He was malnourished, covered in mange, and suffering from a large, benign tumor.
Thankfully, he was adopted and nursed back to health. His new humans quickly learned how affectionate and sweet Bandit was. They knew he would make the perfect therapy dog and eventually he began therapy training.
He became certified as a therapy dog in 2012 and has since then been visiting soldiers all over the country, offering them love, cuddles and comfort.
These soldiers often come home with aches and pains that are both physical and psychological. It’s Bandit’s job to make them feel better, and he does an amazing job at it! He helps soldiers who have PTSD and provides support from his home base at the Fort Leonard Wood USO in Missouri. He spends four days a week there with the Wounded Warriors who come through the USO.
Aside from helping at the USO, he also visits veteran’s hospitals and attends events that help to support returning soldiers. He offers therapy sessions for anyone who might need some extra love. Not only does he help soldiers, but he also helps the children of military parents.
Bandit has done such a paw-some job in the USO community that he was awarded with his own Honor Guard patch! He where it, along with many other patches, on his special therapy dog vest.
This upcoming school year, Bandit will also be working with Thayer Elementary School located on Fort Leonard Wood to help students enhance their reading skills!
When Bandit isn’t out and about helping those in need, he is relaxing at home with his human and his kitty sibling, Lola. Him and Lola have a very special bond and are always snuggling and napping together.
Watch more of Bandit in the video below, and make sure to follow his journey on his Facebook page!