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Petfinder

This is Tiger. And every day is his lucky day.

GIF via USA Today/YouTube.


The happy, social pup was adopted from a shelter in Georgia. Plucked from the bunch for his high energy and social skills, Tiger was granted a new "leash" on life as a service dog because Angela knew he'd be perfect.

This is Tiger's human, Angela Simpson. Since meeting Tiger, every day's been her lucky day too.

Image via USA Today/YouTube.

While in the Army, Simpson served in the Iraq War. As a result of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the mother of three suffered from crippling anxiety attacks when in public or around too many people. It was a lonely, difficult life.

But now that she's paired with Tiger, the trained dog can tell when she's stressed or panicked and can lead her away or calm her down during triggering situations.

Tiger's skills, companionship, and high-energy disposition were a winning combo to Angela and have opened up a world of opportunity for her and her family.

GIF via USA Today/YouTube.

Simpson and Tiger were brought together through One Warrior Won, a nonprofit that provides service members with support for PTSD.

Approximately 18 to 22 military veterans commit suicide each day, though the number can be higher or lower for specific population of veterans. But no matter how you look at it, it's the very definition of a crisis.

Image by iStock.

And with more than 3,000 dogs euthanized in the U.S. each day, the volunteers at One Warrior Won saw an opportunity to save dogs, train them for service, and in turn, save veterans.

One Warrior Won has rescued, trained, and placed over a dozen service dogs with military vets around the country.

These dogs can be a big help to people living with PTSD.

Dogs like Tiger can be trained to monitor breathing and heart rate and recognize panic attacks or night terrors before they start. The dogs also provide unconditional support and companionship, something many people with PTSD long for.

James Tessneer embraces his service dog, Decimo, who was rescued by One Warrior Won just 24 hours before she was scheduled to be put down. Image via USA Today/YouTube.

"So many veterans are isolated and withdrawn when they return," said Army Capt. Luis Carlos Montalvan in an interview with Time. "A dog is a way to reconnect, without fear of judgment or misunderstanding."

For vets in crisis, these animals are living, breathing medicine.

Image via USA Today/YouTube.

Not only is the treatment compassionate, it's effective.

Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, another group that trains dogs for military vets, reports that their recipients have a zero rate of suicide attempt or divorce after being paired with a service dog.

Photo by iStock.

But while Veterans Affairs provides service dogs to veterans with specific physical disabilities, they do not provide them to vets with mental health disorders, citing a lack of scientific evidence regarding their effectiveness.

Without Veterans Health Administration funds, vets are left to secure service dogs on their own. Luckily organizations like One Warrior Won, Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, and K9s for Warriors pair veterans with these rescued service dogs free of charge.

Simpson and Tiger's lives are changed for the better.

But they're just one of the many success stories, all made possible by dozens of helpful people who were willing to give a dog, and a service vet, a second chance at a rewarding life.

Searching for a pet to adopt can mean finding your perfect match. High-energy, quick thinking dogs like Tiger have been invaluable to these vets needing support. A quick search on Petfinder might just help you find a companion who's right for you!

Simpson practices commands with Tiger. Image by USA Today/YouTube.

See their story and Tiger's journey in this heartwarming video from USA Today.

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy asked his Senate colleagues the questions millions of Americans have after a mass shooting.

Another school shooting. Another mass murder of innocent children. They were elementary school kids this time. There were 18 children killed—so far—this time.

The fact that I can say "this time" is enraging, but that's the routine nature of mass shootings in the U.S. It happened in Texas this time. At least three adults were killed this time. The shooter was a teenager this time.

The details this time may be different than the last time and the time before that, and the time before that, and the time before that. But there's one thing all mass shootings have in common. No, it's not mental illness. It's not racism or misogyny or religious extremism. It's not bad parenting or violent video games or lack of religion.

Some of those things have been factors in some shootings, but the single common denominator in every mass shooting is guns. That's not a secret. It's not controversial. It's fact. The only thing all mass shootings have in common is guns.

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Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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