Service dogs remain a crucial support to 1 October survivors
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - The Vegas Resiliency Center says trained service dogs have been a crucial support for One October survivors, and one Las Vegas Local shares how their K-9 has helped them heal and thrive.
Cielo, a trained service K-9 for Nadine Lusmoeller, is specially adept to help navigate their owner through PTSD. She suffered a bullet wound to her leg, and has worked on physical and emotional healing in the years since.
“The days after the shooting were a little bit difficult for me, because I did not really know how to handle what happened. I was one of the people who got shot. But [Cielo] was there the entire time. He did not leave my side,” Lusmoeller said, praising Cielo’s unwavering support and desire to help.
“[Cielo] is a working dog. He is focused on his task when he’s with me,” Lusmoeller said. Cielo is trained to sense a panic attack and press against his owner’s chest, make space for their owner in an area crowded with people, and can even lead his owner back to their vehicle.
“He gave me that reason to keep going and not just survive, but live again,” she said.
Cielo, who has an Instagram account, ran the 2018 Vegas Strong 5K Run with his owner. Lusmoeller is now going back at school studying to be a therapist for trauma survivors.
Lusmoeller hopes to educate the public on proper interaction with trained service dogs. Though many people purchase vests for their dogs, true trained service dogs undergo years of instruction, perform specific tasks for their owner, and are always working when they are in public.
Lusmoeller encourages the public to give a working dog space to assist their owner, and though many people love to pet dogs, its crucial that the service dog is focused on performing its role.
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