Adopting a Dog With PTSD

Catherine Cheney interviews a San Antonio pastor and his wife who adopted a Labrador retriever, Buck, who suffers from canine post-traumatic stress disorder. They are committed to helping him heal from the after-effects of war. 

For the full story, see "For War Dogs, Life With PTSD Requires Patient Owners," by Catherine Cheney. The couple faces a host of challenges in caring for their new pet:

Larry is a pastor, and he and Lynette often invite groups of people over to their home for conversation and prayer. But at the sound of the doorbell, Buck begins to bark wildly. He pants, he spins in circles, and he shivers behind the baby gates lining the kitchen. The only way Larry can calm Buck down is by putting his leash on him and allowing him to hide in his safe place: beneath the chair where Larry sits, just behind his legs.

And the couple has had to put a halt on travel plans, as Buck will not let anyone other than Lynette approach him unless he is on the leash and with Larry.

"It's almost kind of like having a toddler, cause you have to watch him and there's no one else who can take care of him at this point," Lynette said. "I'm glad we have him, but I wish we could get our lives back to normal."

Catherine Cheney is a multimedia journalist who has reported from Washington, D.C. and internationally for publications including The Washington Post, POLITICO, Spiegel Online International, and World Politics Review, where she writes on international affairs.

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