A beautiful and inspiring story about a man and his dog & how they’ve helped each other heal. On a more personal note, this story also serves as a reminder that PTSD – and all that comes with it (memories of falling from heightsl…) – is an invisible condition/disability.
Lon Hodge and his service dog, Gander, go everywhere together. After decades of living with debilitating PTSD, Gander is helping Hodge step back into the world. Photo: Courtesy of Lon Hodge
Lon Hodge and his labradoodle, Gander, are at a McDonald’s near the Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois, a quick stop for a bite as they travel across the United States. “He never leaves my side,” Hodge explains to a curious woman, patting Gander on the flank. “He’s special.”
Hodge and Gander are on the road interviewing the families of US veterans who committed suicide; the result will be a book, Fetch, which he aims to self-publish early next year. Hodge, a TEDActive attendee, is a veteran and one of the 5.2 million adults in the US who have post-traumatic stress disorder. Gander, also a friendly face at TEDActive, is the service dog who saved his life.
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