Bady and I continue to work hard at our training. Our training club is fabulous and very patient with me as the 'newbie.' I can't speak for Bady, but I know I look forward to our time on the field every week. I suspect he feels the same way.
Lately I've been doing some reading about PTSD and Animal Assisted Therapy. It is a well known fact that animals reduce blood pressure and increase health in people that have them. Animals also create a sense of camaraderie with their human owners. The animal depends on you. If you have an animal, you have to get out of bed to feed and exercise them.
The main reason I got Bady was to increase my sense of safety. I know, without a doubt, that Bady has my back. Because of him I have been able to do things I never thought possible. I can stay alone at my house at night. I can work in the church office after everyone else has left. I can answer the door without knowing who is on the other side. These are things I never thought I would do after the attack.
I can (and do) credit Bady with these changes in my life. However, the changes are not just because of Bady. With or without Bady, I generally feel more safe in the world. Having Bady has allowed me to heal on the inside in ways I never could have imagined. I feel more confident in myself, more willing to try new things and more hopeful about the future.
One caution therapists have for those involved in Animal Assisted Therapy is that the survivors not attribute their progress solely to their dog. The dog is one part of the process, but the primary work still lies with the survivor. In some cases, the dog allows the survivor to do the hard work she must do to heal. That has been the case with me and Bady.... Thanks be to God!