Dogs change lives. They sometimes aren’t aware of the impact they make, but to me, that makes it so much more genuine.
Without knowing their dependability and asking for nothing in return, they happily greet us at the door, they love us when we’re lonely, they sometimes save our lives, and sometimes they save two people’s lives.
This is the story of Pax, a beautiful service dog who gave a disabled vet the opportunity to once again live and restored the soul of a correctional facility prisoner.
Bill Campbell, an Iraq war veteran, returned home with 100% disability due to a traumatic concussive brain injury. His family and friends feared for Bill’s quality of life, but thankfully, Bill was fortunate to receive a beautiful golden labrador service dog named Pax.
Pax, a fully trained PTSD service dog, gave Bill the emotional strength to live once again after returning from the war.
Bill was so thankful for Pax that he was determined to meet the woman who trained him. So, the two took a trip to Bedford Hills Women Correctional Facility to visit Pax’s trainer, a woman named Lauri.
Once inside the facility, Pax began to feel a sense of nostalgia. With his tail wagging and the only eyes shining with excitement to be at the correctional facility, he became all too happy to remember his training.
The moment Pax saw Lauri enter from the top of the hill, he ran as fast as he could as he remembered his old best friend.
He pounced on Lauri, but although overexcited, Lauri was more grateful to see Pax.
Somewhere in between Pax’s heaving of happiness and the sound of a rattling dog collar, Lauri and Bill hugged over the mutual love and gratefulness of having Pax in their lives.
After a joyous reunion, Bill was taken inside the room where the women train the service dogs they raise.
In the room, he sat down with Lauri, and the importance of Pax was truly displayed as Lauri began crying and explained how Pax changed her life as well. Bill was not the first one to find solace in the companionship of Pax.
Lauri expressed her gratefulness for meeting Pax and explained what Pax offered her:
“I knew when they told me when he was going into PTSD training, that he was going to make somebody feel the sense of freedom that he gave me in a place where I was supposed to be everything but (freedom).”
“I realized, by giving me Pax and by taking him from me. He had given me the greatest gift that anyone has ever given me my entire life. He had restored a piece of my soul”.
Being reunited with Pax brought Lauri to tears.
Thank you, Pax, for the being the dog that changed the life of Bill and Lauri.
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