This is my Service dog. There are many like him, but this one is different – We saved each other’s lives. My Service dog is my best friend. He saved my life and gave me hope and purpose – as I have saved his life and provide him purpose. I must master him, as he will master me. My Service dog, without me, has no purpose. Without my Service dog, I would not have found purpose. I must keep training my Service dog true. We must perform as a true and cohesive team. And we will.
My Service dog and I know what counts after the war now, is focus and performing as a team – to regain confidence, independence and recover. And we will accomplish this together.
My Service dog is human, even as I, because he is now my life. Thus, I will learn him as a brother. I will learn his weaknesses, his strengths, his cues and his signs. He watches me, guards me and is there to protect me. He keeps me busy with walking, training and play – and distracts me when the memories come. He does so out of unconditional and unyielding love – formed by a bond that will never be broken. We are bonded.
I will forever guard him against the ravages of weather, as I will ever guard my legs, my arms, my eyes and my heart against damage. I will keep my Service dog clean, well fed, healthy and well trained to perform any task that I ask of him; anytime; anywhere. We will become part of one another. We will.
Before God, I swear this creed. My Service dog and myself are the protectors of each other, and our fellow Veterans. We are the saviors of each others life. So be it, until every Veteran can fight and win their battles at home. Never, alone, but with a Service dog proudly sitting by their side.
Written by: SFC William Rommel