The Power of a Dog’s Love: A Service Dog Makes a Difference
Daniel Sepulveda always wanted to join the Army, and September 11, 2001 compelled him to sign up. Watch the video as Daniel shares about life in Afghanistan and overcoming PTSD today with the help of a service dog named Max.
Daniel Sepulveda and service dog Max
Crystal River, Florida | Army Veteran
After serving in the U.S. Army as a 15 Tango Helicopter Crew Chief, Daniel Sepulveda came home to Crystal River, Florida, suffering from anxiety, hyper-vigilance, and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Now he has formed a strong bond with an amazing, energetic, and playful black Labrador named Max, a trusted partner and a distraction for other people, “so they don’t look at me and my true wounds as much.”
A neighbor, who is a puppy raiser, mentioned Southeastern Guide Dogs to Daniel, and his doctor agreed that a service dog was a good idea. With a wife and two young daughters, Daniel joked about wanting a male dog to balance out the testosterone. Max wakes Daniel at 5:30 a.m., which brings him back to his military bearings. “He’s helping me be more active and he’s keeping me on my toes!” he said.
“Before I came to Southeastern Guide Dogs I was concerned about getting along with everybody here,” Daniel admitted. But Daniel’s most memorable training day was at Kona Grill, when trainers and students felt so bonded that they ate off each other’s plates.
“That was a beautiful experience, the first that I’ve had in a long time,” he said. “I felt like I was a part of a group, and I haven’t felt like that in awhile. It was pretty cool.”
If you know a veteran like Daniel who could use a service dog like Max, share this video. And be sure to encourage them to apply for a service dog today.