Emma and Jollie (Fox Red Labrador)
Partnered since 2022
"My family feel much more content knowing that I have a companion to prevent me from feeling lonely"
A friend told me about Hounds for Heroes and I started following them on Facebook. I thought there must be so many more veterans who needed Hounds’ help more than I did, but eventually my friend convinced me to send in an application.
I served for eight years within the Warfare Branch of the Royal Navy and after leaving my partner and I moved to be closer to family. We have the most amazing countryside for walks with our pet black German Shepherd, Maya and my Hounds assistance dog, Jollie.
I have lived with my disabilities for a number of years but since having dogs and especially Jollie, life has felt much more enjoyable.
Jollie helps me immensely. She is very sensitive to the environment and stays close to me when our surroundings are busy or noisy, giving me purpose and focus when I hear triggering noises.
Occasionally my disabilities can make me feel exhausted, de-motivated and depressed but having a dog gives you that extra boost to wake up, get outside and do some exercise. This almost always puts me in a better mood and headspace to tackle my day.
Watching the dogs in the vast open spaces makes me so happy. She has bundles of energy and she loves having a job to do. She is exceptionally loving and affectionate and will often climb on top of me and lick my face when she senses I am nervous.
I would urge veteran’s to reach out and put an application in. I understand that you may feel that you’re “not worthy” or there are veterans who are “worse off” than you are - but please, just put the application in and let the Hounds for Heroes team decide who is in need of a dog. The team will do the triage and make sure that all applicants get the help they need and deserve. Just don’t hold off because you worry that you’re not a worthy applicant.