Mike Morrison is a United States Army Veteran who served in Iraq. His time there eventually caused Mike to experience symptoms of PTSD that put his Army career to an end. During treatment, Mike saw that a fellow veteran was experiencing noticeable improvement with the help of a service dog. Mike had tried medication for PTSD, but he didn’t like the side effects, and he was curious to see if a service dog would be helpful to him.
Mike started doing research and was led to a program that allowed veterans to train their own service dogs. Mike had grown up with dogs and had always had a passion to work with them. The service-dog training program would facilitate healing from PTSD and allow him to achieve his dream of working with dogs on a full-time basis.
The next step was for Mike to find a dog to train, and when he and his black Lab, Jud, met for the first time, Mike knew he had found his match! Mike started training with Jud, and their teamwork and perseverance allowed them to graduate from the training program in about half the time it would normally have taken. Once Mike trained Jud, he decided he wanted to use what he had learned to help others train their dogs.
In his service to Mike, Jud has been to the capitol and met with some of our nation’s leaders and has joined Mike on the pitchers mound when Mike has thrown the first pitch at baseball games. Although Jud doesn’t accompany Mike on his training jobs, Jud does assist Mike when dogs attend Mike’s Board and Train program. Mike credits Jud both for helping him to realize his dream of training dogs and for helping Mike to live medication-free from PTSD!