Meet Terry and service dog Wendy
Terry and his wife, Karen, live in Old Town, Fla., where the Gulf and Suwannee River meet – a pretty, peaceful town of oaks and pines. But for this Army veteran, painful memories of his service in the infantry during Vietnam have taken his peace and joy, replacing them with post-traumatic stress disorder.
When the VA recommended a service dog from Southeastern, Terry was nervous. But an “energetic and playful” black Labrador named Wendy is now helping him, he says. “She picks up on my anxieties and my sleep problems … She just puts her chin on my arm when she’s on the floor and it’s like she’s saying ‘Hey, it’s OK.’” Terry is hoping that Wendy will help him to feel and care about things and people again. “It’s a calming thing mostly, to have Wendy. She helps to kind of corral the anxiety that you feel inside of you,” he explains.
Terry knows it will be a slow process to a better life with Wendy, but he is looking forward to getting out more and not being as nervous. “I never thought PTSD was a service animal type of thing and this whole thing is new to me,” he admits. “But I wish I would have done this sooner!”
Army veteran Terry Wetzel and service dog Wendy, Old Town, Florida