Veterans receive life-changing gift

Paws of War, a nonprofit that rescues dogs, gives them training, and then pairs them with veterans in need of service dogs, matched two US veterans — Robin Ramos and Derek Logsdon — with working dogs this fall. The service dogs were trained specifically for them, free of charge.

“I’m so excited to . . . be a part of this important mission,” says Lauren Driscoll, dog trainer and program director of the Paws of War Florida chapter. “Our veterans have given so much to us and we know firsthand how trained service dogs help veterans suffering from invisible wounds. Too many of our veterans are struggling as civilians, so we are making it easier for them.”

Both dogs were rescued in February and underwent extensive training. Service dogs can help veterans overcome issues such as PTSD, traumatic brain injury, anxiety, and more.

Stationed in Panama in 1989/’90, Robin suffers from PTSD. He was paired with Colby, a Lab/Catahoula Leopard mix who was trained to retrieve items, turn on lights before Robin enters a room, and more.

Derek also suffers from PTSD, plus hearing loss in both ears, and has attempted suicide twice. His service dog, Carly, is a Lab/Greyhound who’s been trained to retrieve items, assist with his hearing loss (like waking him if a smoke alarm sounds), and more. Derek is a former Army Sergeant deployed to Afghanistan in 2012.

"We are so grateful for our veterans and so happy when we can give back to them,” says Dori Scofield, co-founder of Paws of War. “We have assisted numerous veterans by pairing them with rescued dogs who have been expertly trained. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.”

Learn more at