Golden Retriever wearing an American flag bandana  

Members of the military spend years of their life defending the country while risking their lives. In some cases, when they return home, they can suffer from a variety of significant challenges, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or even a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Those who return home can gain comfort by having a dog that they can grow and develop with.

About Soldier's Best Friend

Soldier's Best Friend (SBF) is an Arizona non-profit organization dedicated to helping both combat veterans and rescue dogs. This organization can do this by pairing a veteran with a dog adopted from a local shelter. This can give a veteran the support and companionship they need to encourage mental health.

While the addition of a dog into someone's life can be a great experience, it also comes with some challenges. Because of this, SBF also focuses heavily on ensuring that the veteran is ready for the dog. To do this, the organization has a process to evaluate the dogs and a training program that lasts a minimum of six months.

Training Process

After being accepted into the program, SBF will do personalized evaluations to determine what type of dog is right for the veteran's situation. Once a dog is found that is a good match from a personality and physical ability perspective, a meet and greet will be scheduled. The veteran and dog will live together from that point on where there will be a lot of time to train together and form a bond. Simultaneously, the dog will receive specialized training as either a service dog or therapeutic companion. During this training process, the veteran will have lessons twice per week.

Once all the training requirements have been successfully completed, the veteran and dog graduate the program and the dog is officially considered a service dog or therapeutic companion. This organization ultimately provides excellent care to ensure both the dog and veteran benefit. The organization is actively accepting donations that will allow them to continue offering this service, at no charge, to veterans and rescue dogs throughout the state of Arizona.

To learn more about Soldier's Best Friend, visit their website.