Rick has sent his application for a PTSD/TBI service dog out. I cannot recall off hand the name of the organization that he is trying to go through,but it is in central MA. He received the application from the VA several months ago,and it took him a long time to sit down and start it. Part of it was the fact that it was 10 pages long,and he can only do a few questions at a time before he gets overwhelmed and has to stop. I of course,help him out with the questions. He reads them out loud,comes up with an answer,and looks to me to assure him that the answer is correct,or I help him remember things that he may have forgotten.He then writes down the answer,and I help him with spelling. When he starts getting frustrated, I tell him to put it away and we will come back to it another time.
The questions ranged from Rick's height,the area in which we lived,what size dog he would need,has he had animals,do we have animals,etc.
The big issue was the essay question,"Why do you want a service dog?" It required a maximum of 100 words. I told Rick to sit down with a blank sheet of paper and write down how he felt. I would look it over,and if necessary,add some information and details based on our many conversations. I would type it out,and he would approve or disapprove it.
He has sat down and wrote down quite a bit,when he went into the bedroom,where I was folding clothes. He laid down on the bed,and I could tell he was upset. He started to cry.
"I hate this damn brain injury! I feel like an idiot. I takes me forever to read and I can't spell and I can't understand things,and this essay.... this whole thing makes me feel like I'm begging. I feel like I don't deserve it. I just want to be able to go places without having to bother you guys all the time.It sucks having to rely on other people because I can't do things on my own. I just want my dignity back!!!"
I felt so bad for him. My heart broke to see him so distraught. I assured him that he was just as worthy as any of the other veterans who are suffering from the same issues,and he wasn't begging. How hard it must be for a man to go from being larger than life to having to depend on others all the time! I can only imagine how I would feel. What a very bitter pill to swallow.
I looked over what he had written,and he did a good job. His opening line was " I want a service dog to help me get my dignity and self confidence back." He then explained how he was wounded,and how it affected him and his family.He went on to say that getting a service dog would not only be beneficial for him,but it would give his family a break,even though "they never complain or make me feel like a burden." Overall it was great,but I did add a couple of things that he had said to me in the past about feeling "less than a man" because he couldn't work,or go out in public much without someone with him. ( He went to Walmart once by himself to try it out,and he was a wreak when he got home. He said it was a terrible experience). I really didn't need to add much more than that,and because his thoughts were a bit jumbled I just made it more cohesive.He did a great job. We put it in mailbox,and now we wait to hear from them. Fingers crossed!!
Have a fabulous day on this Fabulous Planet!!