Joe Worley, like many military veterans, suffered an injury during his serving time that changed his life. It was not just about losing his left leg, war injures in deeper ways and Joe was not the exception. Having the support of his family was vital, but having Benjamin –his service dog– by his side, made the difference.
Service dogs are not there only to provide physical help –although it’s definitely a huge part of their job. They also provide emotional support and that changes people’s lives for the best.
Joe lost his leg in 2004 and for a whole year he underwent several surgeries. At Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, he was exposed to the services of Duce, a facility dog that showed him what service dogs are capable of.
He decided to apply for a service dog of his own and in 2008, Benjamin entered his life. He was provided by America’s VetDogs, an organization that trains dogs to assist veterans and blind people.
Benjamin was trained to match Joe’s needs; from giving him physical support and stability to pick up and fetch things for him. He is also trained to provide comfort and relief the pressure in Joe’s life.
But now, Benjamin is 10 years old and it’s time for him to retire. Joe has applied for a new service dog since he fears soon Benjamin won’t be strong enough to attend his needs.
Don’t worry, he will still live with the Worley family but now he can enjoy being the family dog. Let’s hope the new dog will provide as much support for Joe as Benjamin has done till now!