Eye on Health: PTSD service dogs - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Eye on Health: PTSD service dogs

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- It's a lesson of war. Often, those who fight have a hard time leaving everything they've seen behind. 

A Georgia man is doing something, in hopes of helping veterans' heal.

He is putting his dogs to work to help veterans battle post-traumatic stress disorder.

By day, Bob Lander runs a cabin rental and spa in Blairsville. But he can't hide his passion: dogs.  

He's had Ozzie for three years.

"He's a gentle giant," says Lander.

 Now he is using this passion to jump-start another passion.

"It means a lot to me to be able to help our local veterans," says Lander.

Lander never served in the military, but he watched his dad deal with post-traumatic stress for years. 

Now Lander is training Ozzie and his newest acquisition, a young black lab, as his first battle buddies, service dogs for veterans.

"A lot of veterans have a hard time dealing with things of public appearance or being out in large crowds or people close to them," says Lander.  

The purpose of a battle buddy dog is to provide space for the veteran, to help with panic attacks, and to do what all dogs do, make them smile.

"That's what his job is, to go in, let people pet him, let them relax a little bit," says Lander.

The current goal is to match up 3 to 5 battle buddies a year with vets in the Blairsville area.

It may seem like a small dent in a big problem, but for Lander, it's a whole lot of effort and passion towards an often overlooked issue.

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