Marinr rests on patrol break. Arvin the German Shepard service dog, Arvin and Aaron relaxing in the park

Arvin and Aaron

This is Aaron and his Psychiatric Service Dog, Arvin. I have talked about “owner trained” service dogs in the past and Aaron trained Arvin himself! Aaron served with the Marines in Afghanistan and suffers from PTSD. So, after coming home he got Arvin and trained him to help him deal with and respond to his anxiety and post traumatic stress. His job is to either press up against him if he senses he is going to have an anxiety attack or during an attack to nuzzle his hand to distract him from his anxiety. He also keeps watch over him during an anxiety attack. What is so impressive is that one of his jobs is also to actually go into an area and then come back to Aaron, letting him know that it is safe for him to be there!

Aaron has met with many instances of discrimination, most recently because an employee demanded that he have Arvin on a leash. The law clearly states that a service animal should be harnessed, leashed, or tethered while in public places unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work.