This story originally appeared at American Web Media.
Everything’s better when there’s a dog around. Our four-legged friends are rightly famous for their empathy, compassion, and showering their humans with unconditional love.
Service dog Pax possessed these qualities in abundance, which is why the Golden Retriever was assigned to help a disabled veteran, Bill Campbell, overcome injuries sustained in the Iraq War. After the soldier sustained a concussive brain injury during his tour, family and friends worried their loved one might never fully recover.
Fortunately, Pax – besides being a cute, cuddly, and compassionate canine — was also a fully-trained therapy dog specializing in PTSD. The dog did such a great job that Campbell was inspired to learn more about the canine companion whose loving support had helped change his life.
This mission would ultimately lead Campbell and Pax to the Bedford Hills Women Correction Facility, which is where the star therapy dog had been trained. But unlike the inmates, Pax was thrilled to be back behind bars, because this is where he met Lauri, his first owner, handler, and true love.
Lauri taught Pax everything he needed to know about helping people overcome hardship and disability to live their best lives. Without Pax’s support, Campbell would still be struggling to overcome serious brain injury and readjust to civilian life. In many ways, Campbell owed his miraculous recovery to Lauri’s thoughtful training.
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When the pair arrived at Bedford, Pax immediately recognized Lauri and started showering his original BFF with love and doggie kisses. The affection in turn brought Lauri and Bill together, who were in turn united by their common bonds with Pax.
Finally, Lauri took Bill to see the other service dogs in training, for which this wounded veteran was eternally grateful. This former veteran later described this moving experience as being like seeing where his new family member was originally born.
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