I am a U.S. Disabled Army Veteran. I got Murphy, an American Labrador Retriever to help me with my PTSD. Part of my diagnosis is Depression, Anxiety, Impulse Control Disorder, and Social Phobia. These are a result of my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Murphy has helped me when I am depressed and he senses it, then he will come up to me and rest his head on my lap. When I am having an Anxiety attack or Social Phobia experience, he stays close to me which is comforting. And at night if I am having a nightmare, he comes to my bedside and bounces his jaw on my mattress to wake me up.
My story with Murphy began when I picked him up when he was six months old. Shortly thereafter Murphy and I started attending training with Jenny, James, and Tony with “Veterans & First Responders Dog Training Classes.” As a young pup Murphy had unhealthy habits such as jumping up on people and biting people’s hands when they tried to pet him and did not know any commands. He did not even recognize his own name when called.
With VFR training, he has learned to wear and be comfortable with his service vest. He has learned to walk “respectfully and controlled” by my side and follows my commands. He has learned to “sit,” “stay,” “[Lay] Down,” and “come” when called, with accompanying verbal and hand signals.
With his training, he has learned to use public and private transportation such as autos, buses, trains, and boats in which he has learned to sit and stay in a compact area or space. I can take him to eateries and restaurants and enjoy a delicious meal while he lays or sits quietly under the table. These are the benefits and blessings that Murphy brings to my life, and I am so thankful!
I often refer other people and dog owners that I meet to Veteran's and First Responders Training. They have the utmost professionalism and expertise in their field of Professional Service Dog Training!
- U.S Army
I am grateful for the peace of mind having my service dog. Thanks to Jenny’s help, my dog has saved my life twice by alerting to my disability so I would go to the ER. I take my dog to events, meetings, social functions, restaurants, movie theaters, and she is welcome because of her training. I have more freedom and security knowing she is always watching me, and our symbiotic relationship is accepted everywhere we travel. Jenny and her team of professionals has prepared me for the responsibility of having a service dog. Her “Go bag” is always ready and next to my bag and my wife’s purse. As a disabled combat veteran this training has made my “Fur baby” a superstar and has given me a peace that has improved my quality of life. Thank you Jenny for expanding my horizons.
- Air Force
To give a testimonial it must be something that has made an impact on me. I now have a service dog that helps me with my physical needs. The connection I now have with my service dog Is amazing. I’m grateful for the training, and the discipline I receive from the VFR training staff. Thanks for this amazing journey we’ve been on.
- U.S Army
Being part of Veterans & Frist Responders (VFR) family has not only assisted me in training my service dog but also allowed me to be part of a second family, a family working on the same goal, a family you can count on and get advice from, in both training your dog and personal. Being part of a specialist unit in the Army I never had time to stop and check how I was feeling or even have someone tell me "hey how are you doing today" and the second day of being in the class I had a gentleman come up to me and say " before you start talking, how are you feeling today" at first I will admit felt strange having someone ask me that but as strange as it felt it was nice having someone from my new family ask me that. VFR does not only help train your dog but also provides a family and comradery between everyone apart of it.
- U.S Army
With the assistance of my VFR Service Animal, I can go places and do things that my disability previously prevented. my dog is trained to go anywhere I go including restaurants, theme parks, airplanes, movies, and many other places I previously avoided. My VFR Dog has opened up a whole new world.
- Navy & Retired Law Enforcement Officer
My dog and I are fairly new to VFR and have only attended 4 to 5 training sessions. From the first day we were welcomed by all. The trainers are excellent and explain each action. My dog loves going to class and being in the pack. My dog is coming along great while learning the different commands and actions. I also enjoy the people and training. Thank you, VFR.
My dog and I had no previous experience in dog training. He was a four-month-old pup, energetic and untrained, and after the first two lessons, he started to learn what was expected of him. Training with VFR has improved our lives. It has improved my health and helped my dog's mental and physical development from pup to fully trained service dog. He is now so well trained that I can take him everywhere I go, with no problems, like restaurants, banks, and Disneyland. VFR has given my dog and me structure and exercise both mentally and physically, as well as getting us up and out at least twice a week. My dog and I are so close that he knows what I want him to do. The pack members are good people, training and taking care of their good dogs under the supervision of the good instructors, Jenny, James, and Tony.
My family found a wonderful breeder in Oregon to replace our dog who passed several years ago. We wanted this dog to be more than a house pet and a backyard dog. I am now a retired veteran and can benefit from a helpful dog. Jenny’s organization is very knowledgeable with assistance and solutions. I know that I will need additional physical help in the coming years. Training my dog “Koa” to be a service dog is the ideal solution.
VFR was the Answer: meeting other veterans with similar disabilities and learning proper dog handling has opened my eyes to a whole new world of places to go with Koa and excellent advice to care for Koa. (Proper nutrition, proper safe handling, thinking about how to extend Koa’s health as a senior dog)
I would highly recommend this training for all dog owners. I consider Koa a high-energy dog, and would not have been a good fit in other dog training systems. Jenny’s training style encourages comradery with other dog owners and applicable training for everyday life. Koa & I look forward to the weekly training.
Thank you, VFR for exceeding all expectations.
“Job Well Done”
- U.S Army
Jenny, I just want to reach out and thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you and the rest of the trainers do for us Veterans. Today was a true testimony to the work you guys do. I took Nemo to Chuck E. Cheese, in our group were 3 kids with autism and a few other kids and adults. Nemo did such a fantastic job and it really wouldn't be possible without you and VFR
-U. S Navy