Dog wash raises money for service dogs aiding war veterans - WKRN News 2

Dog wash raises money for service dogs aiding war veterans

Posted: Updated: July 21, 2013 02:51 PM

More war veterans are using service dogs to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder or other disabilities from serving in a war.

Many veterans say service dogs have helped them get back on their feet.

Dogtopia, a local dog daycare, will be washing dogs Sunday to raise money for disabled vets who need service dogs.

Famous cartoonist Guy Gilchrist, known for the comic "Nancy", will be kicking off Sunday's event.

Gilchrist explained that all of the money raised will go toward funding the training and care of these service dogs.

"It all goes to organizations like Retrieving Freedom that [sic] are training dogs right now," he explained. "Every single hour we have a veteran who is ending their life. And if we can bring some love and some laughter to those folks who have given their all for us, that's what this is all about. So the money is going to get training for these dogs so that they can be the loving friend that all dogs are to us."

Bobby Tomer, who was deployed to Somalia in the 1990s, said his service dog Mack saved his life, and since he's had him, his life has "changed considerably."

"Before I had him, I'd stay locked in the house. I wouldn't go out. I'd have a lot of events at the house, flashbacks, nightmares that were just wearing me out. And since he's come into my life, I've been able to get out of the house and be able to go to different places," Tomer exaplined.

He said that if he's having a nightmare or flashback, Mack will jump up to him and nudge him, which helps bring him back to reality.

"When we're out in public, if I'm feeling nervous or anxious, he'll give me that buffer, you know, so the crowd, they'll stay back, or I can move through. And with him being as calm as he is, it keeps me calm, realizing that there's not a threat anywhere near."

The fundraiser will be held from 12 to 4 p.m. at their facility on 8th Avenue South in downtown Nashville.

For more information, or to donate, visit Dogtopia's Web site or Facebook page.

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