I met a special dog who happens to also be named Kevin. He’s a 15-month-old yellow lab under the care of Nancy Saltzstein of the Puppy Jake Foundation. The foundation trains dogs to help veterans with combat injury-related PTSD and mobility issues. In this photo,
Kevin the pup demonstrates how relaxed he can be in today’s noisy crowd of veterans at the Iowa Statehouse. Like many of us, he is especially motivated by food, and is looking at a bag of doggie treats.
Puppy Jake dogs provide a variety of services for their veteran owners, including relieving stress by letting the veteran know when someone is approaching from behind, turning on light switches and picking up dropped items.
All the Puppy Jake dogs are trained by volunteer fosters, who spend two years taking the dog with them wherever they go. This helps the animal become comfortable in a variety of surroundings.
Kevin’s training started when he was eight weeks old, when he was in the care of an inmate at the Newton Correctional Facility. His time with Nancy is exposing him to a broader range of environments. He will move to the home of his veteran owner this September.
Good luck, Kevin! Thanks for the help you’ll provide to someone who’s served and sacrificed.
You can learn more about the Puppy Jake Foundation at www.puppyjakefoundation.org.