The Secret to Coping with PTSD

PTSD Secret

Dogs are widely utilized to assist men and women who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. There are a number of specific reasons why dogs can help heal a person afflicted with PTSD.

Dogs are Vigilant in Watching Over Their Owners

One of the reasons dogs can assist in coping with PTSD arises from the fact that they are truly vigilant. Researchers have concluded that the vigilance of a dog, in relationship to his or her owner, is akin to soldiers and the buddy system in the military.

PTSD secret

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A person who has a nightmare with a dog in the room can better appreciate the level of vigilance associated with a canine.

When a person wakes up from a nightmare, a dog provides cues and information to assure his or her owner was not experiencing something real.

Dogs can be helpful in this manner when it comes to assisting their owners suffering from the symptoms of PTSD.

A dog’s vigilance aids a person afflicted with post-traumatic stress in discerning what is a real issue and what is a symptom of the condition.

Dogs are Protective of Their Owners

Another attribute of dogs that contribute to their ability to aid in healing a person with PTSD is found in the fact that canines are highly protective of their owners.

Many dogs are literally inclined to fight to their very death if it meant protecting their owners from harm.

This type of protective behavior is highly beneficial to a person diagnosed with PTSD. The protective behavior of canines wards off perceived threats to an owner with post-traumatic stress.

Moreover, a person with this diagnosis is more confident to go about activities of daily living knowing he has a protective friend at his or her side.

PTSD Secret

Dogs Love Their Owners Unconditionally

A key problem many individuals with PTSD have is a perception that they are unloved. In addition, trust is a major issue for individuals diagnosed with PTSD.

Another one of the different reasons why dogs aid in healing a person afflicted with PTSD is the fact that canines love unconditionally.

A person with PTSD never has to question whether or not his or her canine companion loves him or her.

Further, a person with PTSD has a real difficult time maintaining, let alone establishing, loving relationships with other people.

A symptom of the condition is that individuals with PTSD perceive themselves as being unlovable. This line of negative thinking is discounted in the face of the devotion of a canine.

In addition, a dog is thoroughly trustworthy.

From this trust of a canine, a person with PTSD is able to begin building a foundation upon which he or she can start trusting fellow humans.

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Dogs Understand and Remember Feelings of Love

Another way in which a dog is helpful in healing PTSD is that they are not turncoats. This is associated with the unconditional love of a dog towards his owner.

The reality is that even the best behaved dog is not perfect. He or she will cause problems and need to be scolded.

With that noted, a dog does not hold grudges or stop caring for his or her owner merely because he has been disciplined for doing something wrong. In other words, a canine has the ability to understand he or she has made some sort of mistake.

But, a dog also remembers and maintains the feelings of love he or she has for his human — and that his human has in return.

Dogs Encourage an Owner to Get Out of the House

Many people with PTSD hole up at home. They fear and dread going out in public and limit their time away from home. A dog aids in healing a person with PTSD by making it easier for a person with that condition to get out of the house.

By getting out of the home with greater frequency, a person with PTSD is able to engage in positive activities. This includes interacting in a positive manner with other people.

Getting out of the home provides a person with PTSD with ever increasing control over his or her life, all because of the supportive assistance of a loving canine.

With increasing regularity, specially trained dogs are becoming key components in the lives of individuals with PTSD.

These canines truly provide a person with PTSD the support and security necessary to begin living a happier, healthier life.

In fact, even pooches lacking in special training can prove to be utterly invaluable to a person with PTSD.

If you found this advice, or any of my advice helpful, please consider buying from one of my affiliates at no additional cost to you and supporting The Military Move. When you click and make a purchase within 24 hours (at no additional charge), we receive a small donation. Thank you!

Jessica Kane

About the Author

Jessica Kane is a writer for Handicapped Pets, your most trusted source for dog wheelchairs and harnesses.

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5 Tips To Survive a Remote Tour

Tips to Survive a Remote Tour

I’ll never forget it. I was heading into my office when my phone rang and I heard my husband Ethan say:

“Babe, I got orders.”

It’s the one sentence that as a military spouse can take you from 0 to 100 in .25 seconds. We had been in Alaska for 3 years now, so while I knew it was coming, I wasn’t prepared for what came out of his mouth next:

“I got a remote tour…to South Korea. And I leave in a few months.”

Girlfriend let me tell you…my heart DROPPED and almost immediately, it felt like I went through the seven stages of grief. I was in shock, I was angry, depressed…you name it, I experienced it. I was on an emotional roller coaster. “How could he PCS by himself,” I thought.

5 Tips to Surive Deployment

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“We’re supposed to do this together! How could the Air Force do this to me?!” A few hours days later, after I calmed down and realized that this comes with the military-life territory, I began to really get myself together and prepare as best as I could for the inevitable: my honey was going to a new duty station….without me.

Let’s be honest…as military spouses, we sign up for moments like these when we say “I Do.” Somewhere down the line, we figured maybe…JUST maybe, we won’t have to deal with our sweethearts being gone, but deep down, we know that one day, our time will come.

But that doesn’t mean moments like these still won’t still have our heads spinning. While there isn’t anything you can do to change the assignment, there are a few things you can do to prepare for and get through it.


Just because Ethan is gone, doesn’t mean running the house comes to a screeching halt. I learned the hard way that banks and other institutions do NOT care if you are married and are just trying to take care of business while your spouse is gone. You can’t just call and get information you expect to be privy to just because you two share the same last name.

This is why having all your legal ducks in a row is KEY. While we still make decisions together, the reality is, he is on the other side of the world. Sometimes, decisions have to be made quickly and there are things I still have to take care of in his absence. I still have to run a house….and so do you.

Whether it’s dealing with making financial, medical or housing decisions, having a power of attorney allows you to act on your spouses behalf and it will save you SO many headaches down the road. It doesn’t take long to get one..all you have to do is make sure you two take a trip to legal before he or she leaves, because without one…life will be way harder than what it needs to be.

Also, If you haven’t done so yet, go around your base with your husband or wife. Visit key facilities where you can get easy and helpful information for deployments/separations. It never hurts to know your way around.


Make a plan to talk to your spouse as often as you can, in as many ways as you can, but also be realistic. Ethan and I set aside a certain time every week to have our FaceTime date. Sure we text and send video messages all the time, but this special time of the week gives us something to look forward to. It’s our uninterrupted time to connect with each other.

In today’s world, there are PLENTY of ways to connect. One of our favorites other than FaceTime is Glide, a video messaging app. However, even though we live in a time where everyone is easily accessible, communication access may not always be reliable when your service member is in remote locations.

Yes, there may even be times when you may not be able to talk to your spouse every day, so keep your plans flexible and be willing to use a variety of ways to keep in touch (email, webcam, Glide, Skype, Facetime or my personal favorite – handwritten letters). It may even be nice to keep a journal, so that you two can reflect on your adventures together once he or she returns.

And remember, in those times when you guys can’t talk, it’s important for you to…


You know ALL those things you’ve always wanted to do? Now is the PERFECT time for your to go do them. If you spend ALL your time obsessing over the fact that your better half is gone, you will be doing yourself a disservice. Yes, I’m bummed that Ethan is gone, but at the end of the day, I LIVE IN ALASKA. ALASKA!!

Since he’s been gone, I’ve gotten into hiking, traveled to different parts of the state I haven’t been to, went to a reindeer farm, and fished for salmon! I’ve tried new recipes, started journaling again and even learned a new language.

Even if you don’t live in Alaska, imagine all the things you can be doing in your town! Visit the farmer’s market, take up a new hobby. Rediscover your passions. Taking time to invest in yourself not only helps the time go by, but it also allows you to continue to grow and become a better you.

And don’t forget to eat well, exercise and get plenty of rest. After all, you owe it to yourself to be in tip-top shape when he/she returns. 🙂


We found out we were expecting our first child 2 days before Ethan left. TWO. WHOLE. DAYS. Needless to say I was an emotional wreck for SO many different reasons. But looking back on it, if I learned nothing else during this entire experience of being separated, it’s that I can NOT do it alone.

For me, it was mixture of my church family, sorority sisters, close family and friends that kept me from going off the deep end. I must have texted my friends on a daily basis saying “I can’t do this. How am I going to survive a pregnancy by myself?!” And they were all there to remind me that I wasn’t by myself. Just because he is gone, doesn’t mean that I am alone.

I know sometimes we think we can do it all ourselves, but we are not superheroes. Sometimes we just need someone to sit with us, pray with us, hold us when we cry or simply listen while we vent and say “I feel you boo.”

Even now that our sweet baby boy is here, having my circle of women to lean on makes the days where I want to just stay in bed and sip wine from the bottle far and few in between. They remind me that I am strong, that I was made for this and I’m doing great. I thank God for my tribe. He put the right women in my path.

So I encourage you, to get out there and make friends with other military spouses. Get involved at church. Not only will it help time go by faster, but you will be reminded that you are not alone in this experience and build a beautiful community in the process. Just like it takes a village to raise a child, having a tribe to do life with makes everything better.

and finally…


So obviously this one is optional, but I totally support it 1000%!! There’s nothing I love more than looking through our albums. They tell the story of how far Ethan and I have come. It’s not just because I’m a photographer that I truly believe in the magic of capturing the magic of you and your family before your loved one leaves.

It’s because I’m a wife and a mother…a daughter, a sister, an aunt and a friend too. Existing in photographs and making unforgettable memories is what gets me through some of my loneliest nights.

Sure this time is hectic. Yes there are a million things to do. Make it a million and one. Don’t forget to set aside moments to enjoy each other as a couple and as a family.

Take plenty of photos. Make silly videos. Go on a family outing and simply be present. Invest in a professional session and surprise your boo thang with an album to enjoy while they’re gone. The beautiful memories, these snapshots in time that you create now, will help sustain you and your entire family through your loved one’s absence.

Images credited to – Sachel Samone Photography

Picture of Sachel

Sachel Samone

A Georgia native and proud Air Force wife, Sachel Samone has a heart for photographing women and couples who may be older in age, but young at heart. Primarily serving the women over the age of 40, Sachel finds joy in capturing the wisdom, faith and love of her elders. “After studying broadcast news in college and working a few years as a reporter, I truly believe that while journalism has taught me how to document life, photography has taught me how to SEE life. And I SEE you. I see your strength. I see your hurt…your pain. I see how Genuine you are…how Confident you are…how FEARLESS you are. I know that as women we often struggle to see our own tell our own stories and that’s why I’ve dedicated myself to telling your story and capturing the most captivating portraits you have ever seen of yourself. I don’t care how much you weigh, how old you are or how imperfect you think you are…the truth is you are perfect just the way God made you and I want to show you how beautiful you are. I firmly believe that you have a story that deserves to be told. It is my dream to build a community of people who are genuinely confident in who they are and fearless enough to let their light shine bright in a dimly-lit world. This experience with me is more than just posing pretty and smiling big. It’s about telling your story…capturing your magic…your incredibly powerful strength, grace and wisdom. One day, your children will grow up and if they’re anything like me, they will look for photos of you. This portrait experience is your gift to them. These portraits of you are your legacy.” She is humbled to have her work been published in top publications including The Knot, Denim + Grace, Chic Brown Bride, Beauty Revived and Simply Elope. She has also been recognized for her work by the United States Air Force and the Department of Defense. When she’s not shooting, you can find Sachel with her enjoying the outdoors and breathtaking views of Alaska with her husband Ethan, their new baby boy J’Aiden and their super cuddly dog Teddy George the Bichpoo.

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