Testimonial from OFP Graduate Andrew

Andrew and DJ

“There is something so special about the bond DJ and I share and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

Before DJ, I found it a lot harder to live with my disabilities. I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, a Seizure Disorder and Severe Anxiety. Since there’s nothing I can do about having these problems, then I can say there’s no better way to live with them than with DJ, my service dog.  Before DJ, these disabilities left me feeling destroyed and alone. Waking up from a seizure, black out, hallucination or a bad dream used to make me angry because I knew I have to live my life this way. Granted, I’m not happy about having these things happen to me but waking up to DJ licking my face or scratching at my arm with his paws, sure makes it a lot more tolerable.

Knowing I have him by my side allows me to be a little more eager to go out in public places. Life before him made it almost impossible for me to walk into a grocery store or anywhere that held more than a few people without experiencing the overwhelming feeling of panic. If I start to feel tense in public, all I have to do is look into DJ’s eyes and almost instantly I feel better about where I am. He grounds me faster than I could do it alone. Even standing in line where no one can really help getting close to each other, DJ “blocks” them by standing in front of or behind me and pushes himself against my legs to create space between us and them.

I enjoy the simple things in life now, like playing ball with him, giving him a bath, brushing his teeth, etc… I’ve had dogs all my life, but there is something so special about the bond DJ and I share and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

[pic of Andrew and DJ]