8.11.2012

update: buddha is certified, fundraising is nearing goal

I have great news. Buddha, the dog adopted by Jeremy and Ashlea Brockway, is now an officially certified PTSD Service Dog! And we have raised slightly more than $6,000 towards our goal of $8,000. Thank you to everyone who made this possible!

Jeremy writes this about the certification and adoption.
Buddha is now a certified service dog! I will share with you some stories from Buddha's certification.

The certification test is comprised of several small tests. The first part of the test was how well I could load Buddha into and out of our car. We passed that easily, since we have practiced that one quite a few times - basically every time we go somewhere.

Next we went to a store to do some distraction tests. Buddha and I walked around and Beth, the trainer, walked some distance behind us to observe our behavior and give the tests.

We did a sudden turn, a complete 360, various sit, heel, and down commands, and walked past several people. Buddha was perfect on those.

Next, Beth introduced some distractions by rolling a ball past Buddha as we were walking, and rolling a ball directly into his paws when he was sitting. He ignored it both times, remaining calm and alert to my commands, and staying pressed against my leg at all times.

The last test at the store was two parts. First, I gave Buddha the command "stay" and walked out of his line of sight. He stayed until I gave him the command "come."

For the second part, he had to do the same thing but with a stranger holding his leash. Beth asked a kindly store clerk to help with this part. Buddha was a bit shy of the store clerk, but he sat obediently and passed.

For the last part, we went to a Tim Horton's so Beth could observe us with all the distractions of a restaurant. Buddha ignored all the noises and smells, and obediently sat under my chair exactly like he is supposed to. Beth then put a piece of cheese right next to Buddha, which he ignored. As we were getting up to leave, Beth put the cheese right in Buddha's path, and he continued to ignore it and stepped over it.

Then we were done, and fully certified! Beth gave me Buddha's service dog badge, which is like his ID card and goes on his vest, and his license is in the mail. We can go anywhere now. It is such a good feeling.

Buddha is so much more than a dog. He is a life-saver. Thank you so much to everyone who made this possible. The kindness and show of support has been nothing less than amazing.

I had no idea that anybody cared, let alone all of you. It gets me all choked up. I cannot thank you enough for this. I had almost given up, but you have changed me and made it possible for me to begin to reclaim the life that was stolen from me. I am eternally grateful for all you have done. Thank you.

Now we need to raise another $2,000 to secure Buddha's home with the Brockways and help them meet expenses associated with adopting a dog. Can you help push us over the top? Please share this link with your local peace organization, your faith community, your union, your friends, your family, your Facebook contacts.

To donate online, go here and click on the orange "ChipIn" button on the right side. (Donations go to my PayPal account and are converted to US funds for processing.)

To donate by cheque or money order, please make payment to "War Resisters Support Campaign" and write "Service Dog" on the memo line. Send your donation to:
War Resisters Support Campaign
427 Bloor Street West, Box 13
Toronto, ON M5S 1X7
Canada

Please watch this video of Jeremy, his children, and Buddha frolicking in their backyard. Only a short time ago, this simple happiness was beyond Jeremy's reach. The transformation for the Brockway family has been truly remarkable.