Tuesday, November 20, 2012

" I Just Want My Dignity Back"

So sorry that I have been gone for a bit.

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!!


  1. Good luck with getting a service dog, it sounds like it's needed and deserved. It's hard to ask for help but looking down the road Zachary will be out of the house so it will be nice to have a service dog to help him out.
    I'll send some Karma and hope out.

    1. Thank you,Max! We appreciate it :)

  2. Good luck with the application, hope all goes well. How awful though the process is so upsetting when the need for the dog is to help the situation! Someone never thought that through did they! Sigh! And I've seen photos in emails about Walmart and Walmatians...hell I'd be a fecking wreck after going there too!

    1. Walmart is certainly a planet all it's own :) Thank you,Sue!!

  3. my heart aches for you two. I wish I could help some how. I hope he gets his service dog.

    I am always a wreck after Walmart myself. Too busy, too noisy, too bright.

  4. Thank you,Phelan. You and your family are in our thoughts,and I,too,wish that I could do something for you. (HUG)

  5. Donna - this post near broke my heart. i know that Rick feels like he has lost his dignity...but not in the eyes of ordinary citizens like myself who are so thankful for his sacrifice - he has more dignity than most of the men i know! he has been through, and is going through, hell...most men would crumble. his dignity is still intact and there are those of us who see it. please give him a big Donna hug from me and jam.

    Donna - we are celebrating American thanksgiving today. we are thinking of all of the things that we are grateful for...and friendship is high on the list. you always leave such sweet and positive comments on our blog and it is like a nice, breath of fresh air. thank you for that. thank you for your friendship. you and your family will be in the list of the friends that we are grateful for when we say Grace before our dinner today.

    i will be saying a special prayer for all of the soldiers and veterans that i have ever met. and i met Rick through you. and he has so many reasons to feel dignified. and i will pray that his sense of his dignity returns as soon as possible. (i think he will be amazed when he gets his dog....i think his dignity will return then...one thousand fold more than he feels it is now. i look forward to your post on that).

    thanks Donna. thank you for your friendship. and Happy Thanksgiving to you and all of yours.

    your friend,

    1. Thank you,Kymber! You are so very sweet,your blog is always upbeat and uplifting as well,and I am so happy to call you and Jambaloney friends! You give us so much support and love!!!!
      Rick says thank you very much for the hug!
      We are thankful for you as well,and you will be included in our Thanksgiving Grace today.
      Happy Thanksgiving to you and Jam!!! (HUGS)

  6. I cannot imagine the frustration Rick has felt filling out such a lengthy application. Most of us would not want to be bothered with such a long process, yet he has worked on this application off and on for a while and kept going back to it until he finally finished it and mailed it off. I am very impressed and hope his hard work and efforts are rewarded. He is very deserving of a service dog and I hope he hears back soon. My heart goes out to both of you as you have good days and hard days. There are people in this country who have no struggle yet make the choice to not work and let others do the work for them. Rick has struggles yet he does the best he can and works hard to help his family. In my eyes Rick should feel pride and dignity. He may not realize it because it's hard for any of us to see ourselves as others see us but that is how I see him. He takes each day at a time and makes the most of it. You both do and I have a lot of admiration for you both.
    Wishing your family a very Happy Thanksgiving. Hugs, Amy :)

    1. Thank you Amy! We appreciate your kindness and support. I hope that you and your family have a lovely Thanksgiving...you are part of what we are thankful for!! I am so happy that we have connected :) (HUGS!)

  7. Love to both of you and to your soon-to-be new family member. Woof! I have worked with and have trained therapy animals and know how wonderful this is going to be for Rick. If it helps, I do know that the application part of the process is often a way for the recipient to see the areas in his/her life in a new perspective.

    It very well can be painful, as it is for you both, but it is a significant personal help for you guys to be able to share the reasons for needing and wanting this dog. Nothing is ever wasted, and neither is this process. Truly.