Author Topic: Veteran walking to raise money for PTSD service dogs  (Read 12699 times)

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Sylvain Chartrand CD

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Veteran walking to raise money for PTSD service dogs
« on: August 12, 2013, 02:10:24 PM »
Veteran walking to raise money for PTSD service dogs

Retired Sea King helicopter navigator Medric Cousineau hopes to raise $350K
CBC News
Posted: Aug 12, 2013 2:28 PM AT
Last Updated: Aug 12, 2013 2:26 PM AT

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2013/08/12/nb-ptsd-veteran-dog-cousineau.html


Retired Sea King helicopter navigator Medric Cousineau and his service dog, Thai, will be in Saint John on Tuesday. (Facebook)

A Canadian Armed Forces veteran from Nova Scotia is on a campaign to raise money and awareness for veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

Cpt. Medric Cousineau and his service dog are walking through 50 communities in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario, with a goal of raising $350,000.

The retired Sea King helicopter navigator, who has been suffering from PTSD since risking his life in a daring rescue operation off the coast of Newfoundland in 1986, hopes the campaign, Paws Fur Thought, will buy 50 service dogs for 50 veterans in need.

Cousineau says his life has dramatically improved since he got his yellow Lab, Thai, from the Royal Canadian Legion two years ago.

    'Before I had gotten her, I had so severely isolated from pretty much everyone and everything.'—Medric Cousineau

"I had no idea of the magnitude of the change," Cousineau told CBC News. "Near the end, before I had gotten her, I had so severely isolated from pretty much everyone and everything," he said.

"I have a 10 by 12 garden shed and I pretty much lived out there because I had one door and one window and I could watch them both."

Cousineau credits Thai's skills for his recovery.

"Everything from covering my back in public so that people won't touch me from the backside because I have severe hyper vigilance issues. She also deals with dissociative recall," he said.

"She can sense the change in my blood chemistry and if I wander off, it triggers a change. She can smell it and she interacts with me to get me to stop going where I was."

Cousineau, who estimates he is walking the distance of a half marathon every day, is scheduled to be in Saint John on Tuesday.

He will stop and talk to people and accept donations along the way, including some cheque presentations from local organizations.

There will also be a Hot Dogs Fur Service Dogs BBQ at the #69 Legion on Wilson Street from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m.

The campaign, which started in Eastern Passage, N.S. on Aug. 1, is scheduled to wrap up in Ottawa on Sept. 19.

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Re: Veteran walking to raise money for PTSD service dogs
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2013, 03:42:00 PM »
Thanks for supporting medric , i just came back from concordia in kansas where i got my service dog kenyia take careof the following Warn me before i have an PTSD attack wake me up before nightmare, warn me if my diabetic sugar level is to low or high, find my walet,key, diabetic test kit , help me undress, keep my balance , press on handicap button so door open for me turn on the light and warn me when there is a step. I had ask certain veteran organisation just to send their member just to support medric and up to now nothing happen, the way it is now veteran organization are judge not by what they say but by their innaction when its time to help , some other organization already are interested in this miraculous project the dog cost $3000. In the state instead of 35 thousand in canada, because the inmate in the federal institution participe in teaching the dogs for the one who meet the requirement they have more freedom and are learning a new trade and are helping handicap people with several disability ,they were even schools who were getting therapy dog. Thanks again Dan
« Last Edit: August 12, 2013, 04:03:15 PM by Jav »

Sylvain Chartrand CD

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Local veteran journeys to find canine companion for others fighting PTSD
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2013, 01:09:31 PM »
Local veteran journeys to find canine companion for others fighting PTSD

By Ruth Davenport Metro Halifax

December 27, 2013 Updated: December 27, 2013 | 10:48 am

http://metronews.ca/news/halifax/894631/its-puppy-love-one-veterans-journey-to-help-others-find-a-canine-companion/



I covered a lot of touching and incredible stories for Metro Halifax in 2013, but none caught my attention quite like that of the Eastern Passage man who a four-footed saviour in 2012 – and has made the most of his new “leash” on life ever since.

As a dog owner and rabid animal lover, I’m naturally predisposed to be moved by animal stories. But Retired Capt. Medric Cousineau’s is so much more than just a dog story.

The former Air Force navigator was paired with his service dog, Thai, in 2012 after years of battling depression, paranoia, and suicidal thoughts following an injury in 1986. He says Thai has transformed his life.

“There’s so much that can happen that’s positive, and all of that, in my life, is attributable to one little yellow lady lab,” he told me when I caught up with him in December.

Although he believes Thai may have saved his life, Cousineau hasn’t been content to just bask in that success. In 2013, he took on the cause of spreading awareness about service dogs and raising funds for other Canadian veterans living with PTSD to get a Thai of their own.

You see, Veterans Affairs doesn’t cover the cost of service dogs, putting them out of reach for many veterans. It’s a troubling policy, particularly given news of at least four veterans taking their own lives in early December.

So last summer, barely a year after his own remarkable transformation began, Cousineau set out on yet another long journey. He walked from Halifax to Ottawa – Thai padding faithfully at his side – to let people know about the benefits of these incredible fuzzy-faced helpers. Along the way, his organization Paws Fur Thought raised enough funds to pair several dogs with veterans.

“We have one guy who used to walk with a walker…now he’s walking unassisted with his dog,” he said. “There’s a lady veteran who…now has a lady Great Dane. They go into public and she feels confident. She’s regaining her life.”

I’m infinitely inspired by this man. He’s overcome demons I don’t understand in order to take on the new and potentially even more difficult battle of changing government policy; and in the meantime, his work is achieving tangible, life-altering results for his brothers and sisters in arms.

“This message of hope is so important. When you have none…and despair takes over, we’ve seen what happens,” he said.

The federal government is currently reviewing the research on service dogs and PTSD, a step that was announced the day after Cousineau met with Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino.

But what’s more telling to me is the public response to Cousineau’s campaign: his 11-year-old neighbour collected donations for her birthday instead of presents; the managers of several local businesses routinely collect donations for him; and Wal-Mart Canada honoured his wife as an Associate Mom of the Year with a $10,000 donation.

While lawmakers continue to deliberate in 2014, Cousineau said he, his team, and his growing army of supporters will continue to work to pair more veterans with service dogs.

“There’s a group of people who now have service dogs because of what we’ve done,” he told me. “Somebody asked me what I want for Christmas, and I said I’ve already got it. In spades.”

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Relieving the Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with Service Dogs
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2014, 05:25:48 PM »
Man’s Best Friend and Life Saver: Relieving the Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with Service Dogs

January 7, 2014 12:07 pm

http://www.ottawalife.com/2014/01/mans-best-friend-and-life-saver-relieving-the-symptoms-of-post-traumatic-stress-disorder-with-service-dogs/



The bridge was high enough with sharp rocks beneath that ensured death would be imminent.  He carefully tucked his suicide note between the lamp and photo frame next to his friend’s favourite TV chair and headed out into the bitter night towards the bridge that he envisioned would finally bring his family peace. You see, Georges wasn’t intending to commit suicide to end his suffering. He was trying to save the lives of his wife and children, for he only saw a cloud of darkness encircling them that he had unwittingly created once he began the downward spiral of his long battle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

As he pondered the end of his life while walking towards the highest railing on the iron bridge that spanned across a swirling river, his friend ran frantically towards him. His buddy had just stumbled upon the suicide note.

“There is help, I promise and I will not leave your side until a solution is found,” he called out.

That solution came in the disguise of an angel named Vardo. He gave Georges the best reason to live — to experience the most precious, special bond of unconditional love every day.



Four months following their first meeting, Georges and Vardo were marching together across Parliament Hill to inform other veterans, politicians and Canadians that miracles do happen, and they come in many different forms. You see, Vardo is a large, black Labrador with deep brown eyes, a beautiful shiny coat and a jacket that spells out “Service Dog”. Vardo has come to Georges highly trained with the unique capabilities of waking Georges from extreme night terrors, stopping full blown panic and anxiety attacks and surprisingly, alerting Georges that his diabetic sugar levels are dangerously low, requiring him to take his insulin shots immediately.

Since Georges and Vardo’s first meeting in July 2013, a miraculous recovery has unfolded. It has taken Georges from a life of reclusion, high doses of medications/therapies, and constant thoughts of suicide, to giving back to his country, family and community, and helping other veterans like himself in the process.

Producer Deborah Lewis of Channel Productions shares her thoughts:  “I was interviewing Georges shortly before Christmas as Vardo snored gently at his feet, and I asked him what his plans were for the holidays.  He said, ‘I’m leaving in early January to embark on a Caribbean cruise with my family and I’ll be leaving my insulin at home; I no longer need it.’ I quickly wrapped up the interview so I could control the wave of emotion that began sweeping over me.”

Every hour, a soldier commits suicide in North America. Eighteen per cent more soldiers commit suicide than have died in combat. These statistics do not include our veterans since these deaths are not tracked by the military. Veterans’ deaths are considerably higher than the civilian population’s and grossly unreported due to the associated stigma.

Last summer, Lewis first became aware of the plight of our injured and ill Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members. Since then, she has focused her energies on giving them the attention they deserve in the media and political arenas as the spotlight shifts to the post-Afghanistan conflict theme of thousands of troops returning home.

“While our company has business goals, to us the support of our CAF injured and ill carry equal, if not higher, importance,” she explained. “Channel Productions has taken up the goal of promoting the use of Service Dogs to help injured soldiers return to Canadian society through the production of a documentary called ‘A Life of Thai’ dedicated to this cause.”

The objective of the documentary is two-fold: to reach out to those who have closed themselves off from society by showing them how Service Dogs can help them improve their lives and second, raise public awareness about the situation of returning Canadian soldiers. All monies raised from the production of this documentary will go directly towards the procurement of Service Dogs for the most vulnerable veterans.

To date, the outpouring of support has been tremendous from individuals, politicians and organizations such as the Royal Canadian Legion, Wounded Warriors and Canadian Veterans Advocacy. Donations are gratefully accepted at www.channelproductions.ca that will assist in the speedy completion of “A Life of Thai”.

“Never let the opportunity slip away to thank a member of our military for their service to you and your country,” added Lewis.


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Alberta woman outraged service dog not allowed on Air Canada flight
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2014, 01:28:16 PM »
Alberta woman outraged service dog not allowed on Air Canada flight

By Slav Kornik  Global News



Edmonton – A Cold Lake woman is expressing her frustration after she says Air Canada refused to let her service dog ride in the cabin with her for free.

Shirley Jew had booked a flight from Edmonton to Toronto after finding out her grandmother had passed away.

The Canadian Armed Forces sergeant says PTSD makes it hard for her to function and concentrate during her daily life, so her dog “Snoopy” helps her with her anxiety and focus.

She will pull me out of a situation. She’ll pull me out of my zone. If I zone out, she’ll pull me out of that,” explains Jew.

Air Canada’s policy is for those travelling with service animals to call customer service and alert the airline. Jew says that’s what she attempted to do.

“Once I contacted their desk I was told that they don’t recognize my service dog as a service dog even though I have the documentation,” Jew explains.

Jew says after speaking to Air Canada’s medical desk, she was so upset she had to hang up the phone.

“I very (nearly) had a meltdown.”

During a Facebook exchange between Shirley and Air Canada a message from Air Canada reads:

“PTSD isn’t yet recognized by the Canadian government as one of the conditions requiring a service animal. Under current regulations, we are required to permit service animals only for flights to the US where PTSD is recognized as a condition requiring service animals. Flights within Canada fall within Canadian law and so we don’t have these requirements yet. “

Jew claims Air Canada has allowed her service dog to sit at her feet during previous flights.

The company did offer the option for Jew to have her dog in the cabin for a charge of $50, but Jew cancelled the tickets – which Air Canada refunded – before booking with Westjet.

“They’re awesome. They were like, ‘yup, no problem. Everything is all set. You’re good to go,’” says Jew.

Global News has spoken to the legal agency representing the organization that trained Shirley’s dog.

A lawyer with the agency says under the Canadian Transportation Act, service dogs must be allowed on planes for anyone who has a physical or mental disability, and PTSD is a recognized mental health disorder.

Jew says she sent a message to Air Canada she hopes will change the airlines policy on dealing with people who are dealing with PTSD.

“I hope you guys understand it’s not just military or veterans. You are now going to have RCMP and first responders, so this is going to be a very common sight, and I hope you treat all of us like humans.”

Follow @slavkornik

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Air Canada apologizes for telling soldier with PTSD her service dog not welcome

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/air-canada-apologizes-for-telling-soldier-with-ptsd-her-service-dog-not-welcome-1.1637453#ixzz2qKli63R0



CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Monday, January 13, 2014 4:34PM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 13, 2014 7:12PM EST

Air Canada is apologizing to a soldier for a “misunderstanding” after she was told her service dog, which helps her cope with her symptoms of PTSD, was not allowed on board a flight she had booked to attend her grandmother’s funeral over the weekend.

In a statement sent to CTV News Monday afternoon, Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick said the airline has a policy to accept service animals for passengers with a number of disabilities that are not limited to physical impairments. Once passengers submit a form filled out by their doctor, “professionally trained and harnessed” service animals are allowed on board.

“In fact, we provide extra space to accommodate them,” Fitzpatrick said.

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/air-canada-apologizes-for-telling-soldier-with-ptsd-her-service-dog-not-welcome-1.1637453#ixzz2qKltYXnh

“In this particular case, we have invited the customer to provide us with more complete information to allow the customer to travel on Air Canada with her service animal. We apologize for this misunderstanding.”

Shirley Jew’s ordeal began on Saturday, when she contacted Air Canada to inform the airline that she would be travelling with her service dog, Snoopy, from Edmonton to Toronto. In one of several posts she made to the airline’s Facebook page, Jew says she and Snoopy had flown on Air Canada as recently as December without incident.

On this occasion, however, Jew says her call was passed around from employee to employee. All of them told her that Snoopy did not qualify because Transport Canada did not recognize her PTSD as a disability requiring a service dog.

“They keep referring to her as an emotional support animal and she is not,” Jew posted to Facebook.

Transport Canada allows service animals onto flights when they are accompanying patients with a variety of conditions, from vision or hearing impairments to mobility limitations. Air Canada’s rules, as posted to the airline’s website, suggest service animals for emotional or psychiatric support are permitted only aboard flights to the United States.

On Sunday, Air Canada responded to Jew on Facebook, saying that Snoopy could be allowed into the cabin as a pet if she paid the $50 pet fee.

“We have spoken with our medical desk and they have informed us that they explained to you that PTSD isn't yet recognized by the Canadian government as one of the conditions requiring a service animal,” an Air Canada social media representative named Nisha wrote to Jew on Facebook, saying service animals for PTSD are allowed on flights to the U.S. only.

Nisha suggested that the airline would be happy to add “your pet” to Jew’s passenger file if she paid the $50 pet fee.

However, Jew opted to accept a refund from the airline and book a flight on WestJet instead.

The airline also took to Facebook to inform Jew that she can register her service animal via the airline’s medical desk.

With reports from CTV’s Mercedes Stephenson and Richard Madan

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/air-canada-apologizes-for-telling-soldier-with-ptsd-her-service-dog-not-welcome-1.1637453#ixzz2qKlwWUQ4

Sgt. Shirley Jew and her service dog Snoopy. Jew, an Alberta soldier with post-traumatic stress disorder, says she's disappointed Air Canada wouldn't allow her dog on board a plane as a service animal. (Canadian Armed Forces / Handout).

--------------------

Mike Blais Rcr Cfds
Minister Nicholson – National Defense
Minister Fantino – Veterans Affairs

PTSD - Certified Service Dogs – Travel

Gentlemen.

As you are undoubtedly aware, Sergeant Jew's certified service dog was most recently denied access to a Air Canada Flight when the company, citing Transport Canada regulations, refused to recognize her medical requirements.

I am contacting you today to encourage you to personally address this issue at the ministerial level by ensuring Transport Canada’s regulations are amended to included PTSD in the criteria for Certified Service Dog and that those who are suffering from mental wounds receive the standard of care and respect they have earned through great sacrifice to this nation.

I am confident that with your direct assistance, this situation can be resolved in an expedient manner.

Respectfully.

Michael L Blais CD
President - Founder Canadian Veterans Advocacy
6618 Harper Drive, Niagara Falls, Ontario

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Military vet with service dog turned away at Saskatchewan restaurant
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2014, 03:51:23 PM »
Military vet with service dog turned away at Saskatchewan restaurant

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/military-vet-with-service-dog-turned-away-at-saskatchewan-restaurant-1.1739959#ixzz2wdJPOCkw



The Canadian Press
Published Friday, March 21, 2014 1:28PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, March 21, 2014 3:33PM EDT

PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. -- A military veteran who needs a service dog says he was turned away from a restaurant in Saskatchewan.

Michael Sharron, who has post-traumatic stress disorder, says he needs the dog, Rylie, with him for medical reasons.

Sharron says he and his father-in-law went to a Smitty's restaurant in a Prince Albert mall for lunch on March 3.

He says they were greeted by a man, who turned out to be the owner, and who told them that dogs weren't allowed.

Sharron says he explained that he needed Rylie with him for medical reasons, but when asked what they were, Sharron wouldn't go into details.

Owner Ray Littlechilds says Sharron gave no indication he was an Armed Forces veteran.

"I told him that he was a service dog, and he was certified, and he said, `Is he a seeing-eye dog?' I said, `No, he's for a medical service for a condition that I have,"' Sharron said.

Sharron also explained he had paperwork for Rylie.

Service dogs can help people with PTSD manage their symptoms. Sharron keeps Rylie's leash tied to his waist and the dog provides him with a distraction.

The conversation between Sharron and the man was loud enough to draw attention from other people in the restaurant, said Sharron, who is from Shellbrook, Sask.

"I'm looking around and feeling like if I can crawl into a hole, I would," he said.

Littlechilds emphasized his support for Canadian military veterans. His uncle died in combat and other family members have served.

"We couldn't allow him in on the way he talked to us," Littlechilds said. "He says, `This is none of your business' ... and I said, `Well, I can't let you in."

Sharron said he decided not to press the issue. He started to leave, but briefly sat on a bench near the exit to make a phone call to Rylie's trainer.

He said Littlechilds told him he would have to go out into the foyer of the mall to do that.

Sharron called a lawyer for Manitoba Search and Rescue, which trained and provided his service dog. The lawyer has been in contact with Littlechilds.

The owner said another person came to the restaurant days later to scold him and to tell him that Sharron is a veteran. Littlechilds told the man he had no idea that was the case at the time.

"We would have been happy to have him as a guest, as far as an individual," he said. "I don't stop people from coming to my business. I welcome every single customer there is. It doesn't matter what you are, what colour, what race, if there's any disabilities whatsoever, they are welcome at Smitty's."

He said he would welcome Sharron back.

"All we were trying to do was live by the letter of the law of the health regulations and purposes. That's something that's very strict."

Earlier this year, a military veteran based in Cold Lake, Alta., was not allowed to board an Air Canada flight with her service dog. She was told she could travel with the pet for a fee. She, too, has PTSD and owns the dog because it helps her stay calm.

The airline later apologized.

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/military-vet-with-service-dog-turned-away-at-saskatchewan-restaurant-1.1739959#ixzz2wdJaZjZm
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Veteran, with service dog for PTSD, faces possible eviction
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2014, 07:40:34 PM »
Veteran, with service dog for PTSD, faces possible eviction

'They're discriminating against me,' says veteran David Peavey

CBC News Posted: May 15, 2014 6:11 PM AT Last Updated: May 15, 2014 6:59 PM AT

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/veteran-with-service-dog-for-ptsd-faces-possible-eviction-1.2644514



A military veteran, who has a service dog to help deal with his post-traumatic stress disorder, is facing a possible eviction because of his dog.

David Peavey was medically released from the military nine years ago after being diagnosed with PTSD. He served for 18 years.

His service dog Norm, which he just got this week, helps him to complete daily tasks and live a more normal life after Peavey's time spent serving in Somalia among other places.

“It broke me big time. I tried committing suicide three times, that's why I reached out to get help,” said Peavey.

He said he often has nightmares, waking up in a pool of sweat. The first day he got Norm, the dog grabbed a toy, and jumped up on to the bed with him, waking him up from a nightmare.

But the building Peavey lives in has a strict no-dog policy. His landlord recently gave him a 15-day eviction notice, but that's been put on hold while the Human Rights Commission makes recommendations.

In a letter to Peavey, the landlord stated they are granting temporary accommodations for Norm if Peavey follows strict rules that include Norm not being allowed in common areas, hallways, outdoor premises, or in the elevator in the presence of other tenants. The dog is also restricted from defecating on the premises.

The letter states that failure to comply with the rules may result in termination of the lease.

Mark Bailey, Peavey’s lawyer, said his landlord needs to accommodate Peavey’s treatment needs under the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act, calling the eviction a form of discrimination on the basis of disability.

He said the no-dogs policy only applies to people who have dogs as pets, and Norm is more than a pet.

“He's disabled. His landlord needs to accommodate whatever means he’s required to address those underlying disabilities,” said Bailey.

As well as facing eviction, Peavey is facing criminal charges connected to a past run-in at the building.

The case is currently before the mental health court.

Bailey said the criminal charge is related to Peavey’s post-traumatic stress disorder and an alleged incident that occurred last summer.

“You can't turn around, almost a year later, and attempt to evict him for something that happened almost a year ago. It just doesn’t make sense,” said Bailey.

Peavey said the rules placed on Norm are making it difficult for him to live a normal life.

“I think they're discriminating against me, treating me like a second-class citizen,” said Peavey.

“It makes me feel awful, because anytime I do anything, I feel like I’m being watched.”

Peavey says he's trying to make it work. He said he always asks neighbours before bringing Norm into the elevator and never takes Norm to the apartment's pool.
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Police pay for removing former soldier with PTSD from Manitoba bar

http://medicinehatnews.com/news/national-news/2014/05/13/police-pay-for-removing-former-soldier-with-ptsd-from-manitoba-bar/

By The Canadian Press on May 13, 2014.

WINNIPEG – A Manitoba police force has settled a human-rights complaint filed by a military veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Billy-Jo Nachuk filed the complaint after officers with the Brandon police removed him from a bar in April 2011.

Nachuk said he had a service dog with him to help him with his PTSD – and had the certification papers to prove it – but police refused to listen to him.

Earlier this year, the police service offered a settlement of $5,500 but Nachuk turned it down and the Manitoba Human Rights Commission said it was too low.

The commission says a new offer was put forward and agreed to, but it is confidential.

Another veteran was turned away from a restaurant in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, in March because he had a service dog for PTSD.
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Fundraiser to provide Service Dogs for Military with PTSD
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2014, 07:04:28 PM »
Fundraiser to provide Service Dogs for Military with PTSD

May 14, 2014

To: All Members of Local 867

From: Alex Forrest, President

Please view the poster for the “Ball for the Brave”, which is a
dinner in support of MSAR and Cvet’s Pets. These organizations are working
to provide medical service dogs for Canadian Forces veterans suffering from
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).



UFFW has stepped up to assist and be a major sponsor of this event.

MSAR funds the courageous Companions Program, which assists Canadian
Military Veterans to gain access to trained service dogs, and thereby
allowing them to gain access to public areas, reduce stress and strain
through everyday activities and decrease anxiety. MSAR supports Courageous
Companions, which provides the dogs and the training and Cvet’s Pets is
working to provide the soldiers with starter kits that include everything
that they need to own a dog

UFFW President, Alex Forrest, and many other Fire Fighters have served in
the military. Fire Fighters know and understand the effects of PTSD and we
are always proud to work with our military friends who have helped us
throughout the years.

We hope you will consider supporting this worthy cause by purchasing
tickets, attending the ball and /or making a donation.

The Ball for the Brave takes place at the Delta Winnipeg Hotel on Thursday
May 22, 2014, beginning at 6:00pm. Single tickets are $100 and a table of
ten is $800. To purchase tickets please phone 204-299-5198, or email
cvetspets@gmail.com

Further information about these organizations and the Ball for the Brave can
be found at

Cvet’s Pets

MSAR

March 2014 Dear Supporter,

On Thursday, May 22, 2014 we will be holding the first ever Ball for the Brave at the Delta Hotel and we would be pleased if you would join us.

This dinner was created out of an initiative that Cvet’s Pets undertook in May of 2013 when we teamed up with MSAR to help with the Courageous Companions Program.

This program works to provide medical service dogs for Canadian Forces veterans suffering from Post? Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The Courageous Companions Program links a veteran suffering from PTSD with a trained medical service dog. These dogs can range in function from assisting with daily tasks to even serving in a military role on a base.

Cvet’s Pets is working towards providing all these soldiers with starter kits (these include everything they need to own a dog) and Courageous Companions provides the dogs and training. The kits, training and dogs are all provided to our veterans at absolutely no cost! They have given so much by serving our country and now it is our turn to support them. No soldier shall be out of pocket and we need your help to fund this program.

On top of the starter kits, Cvet’s Pets will be working towards building additional housing at the dog training site to house more veterans at once, as there is currently a shortage of living space.

Attached with this letter you will find information about Cvet’s Pets, the Courageous Companions program and the various dinner sponsorship packages that are available. All of the proceeds from the dinner will be directed to funding these initiatives.

Please consider sponsoring and attending the Ball for the Brave presented by the United Firefighters of Winnipeg, Local 867. Your support will help make a difference in the lives of our military veterans.

Thank you in advance for your generosity and selflessness. Sincerely,

Chris Cvetkovic

Chris Cvetkovic Founder, Cvet’s Pets www.cvetspets.com

Check The Link to print the Ticket order Form http://uffw.ca/member_notice/940/
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New Landlord of veteran with service dog defends no-dog policy
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2014, 07:22:32 PM »
New - Landlord of veteran with service dog defends no-dog policy

K.J. Gandhi defends his policy, saying it draws people to move into apartment building

CBC News Posted: May 16, 2014 6:15 PM AT Last Updated: May 16, 2014 7:35 PM AT

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/landlord-of-veteran-with-service-dog-defends-no-dog-policy-1.2645760



The Nova Scotia landlord who gave an eviction notice to a military veteran, who has acquired a service dog to help deal with his post-traumatic stress disorder, is speaking out in defence of his building's no-dog policy.

David Peavey was medically released from the military nine years ago after being diagnosed with PTSD. He served for 18 years, spending time in Somalia, among other places.

His service dog Norm, which he just got this week, helps him to complete daily tasks and live a more normal life.

K.J. Gandhi, Peavey's landlord, recently gave the veteran a 15-day eviction notice — but that's been put on hold while the province's Human Rights Commission looks into the case.

Gandhi said two-thirds of residents in the Riviera apartment building in the community of Bedford in the Halifax Regional Municipality told him they didn't want the dog in the building. He said the no-dog policy is one of the attractions of the building.

K.J. Gandhi recently gave a tenant with a service dog a 15-day eviction notice, but that's been put on hold while the Human Rights Commission makes recommendations. (CBC)


“A person who has an allergy to a dog, he does not differentiate between a [service] dog or a dog,” said Ghandi.

In a letter to Peavey, the landlord stated he is granting temporary accommodations for Norm, but only if Peavey follows strict rules that include Norm not being allowed in common areas, hallways, outdoor premises, or in the elevator in the presence of other tenants. The dog is also restricted from defecating on the premises.

The letter states that failure to comply with the rules may result in termination of the lease.

“Those are high demand restrictions on the dog. Is that demand so high that it is not accommodating and allowing him to live there in a reasonable fashion?” said Wayne MacKay, a human rights expert.

Mackay said the law protects Peavey from discrimination based on his disability.

“Simply, a majority not liking it is not a good answer,” he said.

“I agree that we should help people, but on the other hand, if you moved into the building, you knew that you couldn't have a dog in the building from the onset,” said Margaret Gray, a resident.

Meanwhile, Peavey allows Norm to loiter in the parking lot.

“I believe I need to stand my ground,” he said. “People are afraid of getting a service dog because of this.”

On Friday, Norm graduated to earn a veteran assist service dog badge.
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Ottawa to fund pilot project providing service dogs for veterans with PTSD

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/ottawa-to-fund-pilot-project-providing-service-dogs-for-veterans-with-ptsd-1.1839384#ixzz32sDEK2zm




CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Monday, May 26, 2014 8:21PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, May 26, 2014 9:05PM EDT

The federal government will fund a pilot project that aims to provide service dogs for up to 50 veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, CTV News has learned.

Sources say Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino will announce Tuesday that his department will provide up to $500,000 for the two-and-a-half year pilot project.

After meeting with stakeholders and realizing that more research is needed to assess the impact service dogs have on soldiers with PTSD, Veterans Affairs decided to fund the project.

One service dog can cost up to $15,000 and take three years to train, depending on what services it needs to provide. Such dogs are currently funded by charitable donations.

The Harper government has been studying the benefits of service dogs for years.

Last year, Veterans Affairs partnered with St. John Ambulance Canada to research the benefits of using dogs and horses to treat veterans with mental health issues. A research partnership with the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research was also announced last September.

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/ottawa-to-fund-pilot-project-providing-service-dogs-for-veterans-with-ptsd-1.1839384#ixzz32sDMlM00

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Local veteran continues the fight for funded service dogs, one year after ‘Long Walk’

August 14, 2014 Updated : August 14, 2014 | 7:13 pm

http://metronews.ca/news/halifax/1126851/local-veteran-continues-the-fight-for-funded-service-dogs-one-year-after-long-walk/



One year ago, Retired Capt. Medric Cousineau was just a guy taking his dog for a walk – a really, really long walk.

Today, the retired Air Force navigator is still on the move, criss-crossing the country to maintain the public awareness and fundraising efforts for service dogs started by his Long Walk for Sanity from Halifax to Ottawa last year.

“A lot of stuff’s happened in a year,” said Cousineau during a coffee break in Halifax Tuesday, service dog Thai lying quietly at his feet. “Federally, provincially, municipally… we’re connecting with veterans and helping them. And it has been so successful.”

Service dogs aren’t a recognized form of treatment and so don’t qualify for federal government funding.

However, since last summer, a lot has changed. In May, Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino announced a two-year pilot study of service dogs and their impact on the treatment of PTSD.

In Nova Scotia, Cousineau is working with the provincial government to ensure that a person with invisible disabilities who uses a service dog receives the same protection as a blind person using a guide dog.

“Both of us are disabled Nova Scotians, both live with a thing called a disability tax certificate, and both of us are treated differently,” he said. “ So they’re working on it.”

Cousineau’s political activism has helped increase public awareness, and growing numbers of veterans are reaching out to Cousineau’s organization, Paws Fur Thought, for help.

Thirty people have been matched with their fuzzy-faced miracle workers in the last year. Breeders in Canada and the U.S. have donated puppies for training, and trainers are stepping up to prepare both dogs and people for their new lives together.

“Not everybody is comfortable once they understand what’s entailed in getting a service dog,” said Cousineau. “Are you comfortable being the centre of attention in public? You’re the only guy in Wal-Mart with a dog, you tend to get a lot of questions.”

People and businesses have been generous with their dollars, but Cousineau says he needs corporate sponsorship to help the thousands more still in need.

“As fast as I can raise the money, I can start more dogs into the process…because the need is huge,” he said, adding that 99 cents of every dollar is devoted to the cost of acquiring and training dogs. “Unfortunately, it’s a sad reflection of the fact that we’ve got some broken people.”

Death of comedian Robin Williams hit ‘close to home’

Retired Air Force Capt. Medric Cousineau said he understands the engulfing blackness that drove Robin Williams to take his own life all too well.

Robin Williams

Cousineau was injured in 1986 and struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts due to post-traumatic stress disorder for years afterwards until he was paired with Thai, his service dog, in 2012.

He says the loss of a brilliant actor should serve as an indication of just how crushing the invisible weight of depression can be.

“The funniest man in the world gets taken down by the darkest illness,” he said. “It doesn’t take much to get to the point where…you make a terminally irreversible decision, and it’s over.”

Cousineau said anyone worried about a friend or relative can help simply by showing concern, listening, and not dispensing platitudes about staying positive.

“In a lot of cases…what the person struggling needs is validation, to know that somebody heard them say, ‘Hey, I’m really not doing okay today,’” he said. “You’ve got to be comfortable saying, ‘It’s okay to not be okay. We’ll get through today and we’ll try tomorrow.’”
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