Coping With PTSD: A Veteran's Best Friend May Be The Four-Legged - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Coping With PTSD: A Veteran's Best Friend May Be The Four-Legged Kind

Posted: Updated:

SPOKANE, Wash – Tim McDonough from Spokane Valley is one of countless veterans across America dealing with the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

He served in the Air Force in Iraq and Afghanistan. McDonough's mission was to fly in and out of the combat zone to bring home those brave men and women who lost their lives fighting for our freedoms.

"We brought home the fallen," McDonough told KHQ. "Close to 214 is the number I remember of bringing guys home."

When McDonough returned home in 2006 from his final tour, he realized he wasn't the same man. He began having problems with everyday life. When he was diagnosed with PTSD, his wife suggested he be paired with a service dog.

"If somebody would have told me today I'm where I'm at, I would have told them they're crazy," McDonough said. "I fought my wife for about six months on this."

But soon, his love for his dog – and the help it gave him – transformed him. Eventually he and his wife incorporated the training program into "Shepherds for Lost Sheep," a non-profit organization that connects veterans with PTSD or traumatic brain injuries with service dogs who help them cope, calm them from nightmares or other traumatic stimuli, and stay with them around the clock. The program has already helped 35 veterans, and 28 more are on the wait list.

Now in its second year, a group of roughly two dozen veterans and trainers are meeting this week near Cheney, and many of the veterans are meeting with their dogs for the very first time.

McDonough knows what that's like; he's has had his German shepherd, Bailey, for four years and it has made a tremendous difference in his life.

"Bailey not only changed my life, she saved my life," McDonough told KHQ.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit www.shepherdsforlostsheepinc.org or call 509-697-0496 or 1-888-234-2319.

 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    Saturday, July 26 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-07-26 04:07:59 GMT
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
  • 44 Riverside homes destroyed or damaged in storm

    44 Riverside homes destroyed or damaged in storm

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:46 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:46:53 GMT
    RIVERSIDE, Wash. - Many families were still at the Red Cross Shelter set up at Riverside High School in Riverside this morning.An afternoon storm destroyed or damaged 44 of their homes and knocked down close to 100 trees in Riverside Village Mobile Home Park.Many residents said the storm looked like a tornado as it swept through their neighborhood.>>
    RIVERSIDE, Wash. - Many families were still at the Red Cross Shelter set up at Riverside High School in Riverside this morning.An afternoon storm destroyed or damaged 44 of their homes and knocked down close to 100 trees in Riverside Village Mobile Home Park.Many residents said the storm looked like a tornado as it swept through their neighborhood.>>
  • VIRAL VIDEO: Dog passes out from overwhelming joy at owners return

    VIRAL VIDEO: Dog passes out from overwhelming joy at owners return

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:26 AM EDT2014-07-28 15:26:12 GMT
    KHQ.COM - A woman who left her dog in the care of friends while she moved away for two years, got an unexpected and heart melting reaction from her little schnauzer, Casey, when she returned. This video has gone viral since it was posted July 24th with over 17 million views as of July 28th.>>
    KHQ.COM - A woman who left her dog in the care of friends while she moved away for two years, got an unexpected and heart melting reaction from her little schnauzer, Casey, when she returned. This video has gone viral since it was posted July 24th with over 17 million views as of July 28th.>>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • UPDATE: High Drive brush fire now 100% contained

    UPDATE: High Drive brush fire now 100% contained

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 1:17 AM EDT2014-07-29 05:17:55 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- On Monday afternoon a brush fire broke out on the west side of Spokane's South Hill. The fire, which broke out around 3pm, was burning on the hill between High Drive and Qualchan Golf Course. By 9pm Monday night the fire was 100% contained.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- On Monday afternoon a brush fire broke out on the west side of Spokane's South Hill. The fire, which broke out around 3pm, was burning on the hill between High Drive and Qualchan Golf Course. By 9pm Monday night the fire was 100% contained.
    >>
  • Lady Star has been found thanks to your help & the power of social media!

    Lady Star has been found thanks to your help & the power of social media!

    Monday, July 28 2014 5:59 PM EDT2014-07-28 21:59:04 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - A good ending to a story only brought about because of you and the power of social media. You may remember the story of the beautiful German Shepherd, Lady Star who went missing after a car crash on June 24th. She was the dog of Asha Bartholomew and her husband, a former WWII vet who passed away a year ago.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - A good ending to a story only brought about because of you and the power of social media. You may remember the story of the beautiful German Shepherd, Lady Star who went missing after a car crash on June 24th. She was the dog of Asha Bartholomew and her husband, a former WWII vet who passed away a year ago.
    >>
  • Scientists hoping to restore salmon in Ellensburg

    Scientists hoping to restore salmon in Ellensburg

    Monday, July 28 2014 5:56 PM EDT2014-07-28 21:56:35 GMT
    ELLENSBURG, Wash. (AP) - The settlers who founded Ellensburg in the 1870s were likely drawn by the plentiful water in creeks crisscrossing the valley, but as the city expanded, it grew right over those streams. Look at a Google map of downtown Ellensburg and you'll see Wilson Creek wind across Main Street.>>
    ELLENSBURG, Wash. (AP) - The settlers who founded Ellensburg in the 1870s were likely drawn by the plentiful water in creeks crisscrossing the valley, but as the city expanded, it grew right over those streams. Look at a Google map of downtown Ellensburg and you'll see Wilson Creek wind across Main Street.
    >>