June 26, 2022
Want to enjoy the freedoms our military fought for? Help those who serve at home.
By Danique Masingill In the beginning, there were the first responders. Before the U.S. bombing campaign against the Taliban, before American troops put boots on the ground in Afghanistan, they were there, racing toward mammoth buildings... Read More
April 28, 2022
Not every veteran should have a service dog. Here’s why.
By Danique Masingill The chocolate labrador was a shadow of himself, an outline of ribs and vertebrae draped in filth-coated fur. A stench clung to him. My colleagues would describe it as the smell of combat, of desolation and decay. The... Read More
March 9, 2022
When one leash saves two lives, adoption fees are a small price to pay
By Danique Masingill Month after month, adopters in search of a four-legged family member passed by Tango’s kennel at the SPCA of Fredericksburg. Maybe it was the dog’s size. Or maybe it was because this handsome, hazel-eyed Vizsla resembled... Read More
February 2, 2022
How I learned to live without the dog that saved my life
By Matthew Masingill My service dog roused me awake in the early darkness of Christmas morning, just as he’d done countless times before. But on Dec. 25, 2020, I was in the midst of a massive heart attack. It was the last time Dozer would... Read More
January 24, 2022
When seizures sidelined a service dog, she found an even higher purpose
By Danique Masingill Some dogs are born to heal. We knew soon after meeting Victory that she was one of them. At just a few months old, the doe-eyed Labrador already showed qualities we look for in a service dog. She was gentle and smart and... Read More
December 6, 2021
Service dogs and the holidays: We all have a role to play
At the front desk of the Florida country club, the host took one look at my husband’s service dog and told us we’d be eating Thanksgiving dinner on the outdoor patio. For years, my husband had relied on his service dog, Dozer, to help cope... Read More
September 22, 2021
It’s not OK to pet a wheelchair. And it’s not OK to pet a service dog.
Until Richard met his service dog, Carrie, he rarely ventured into a store alone. He’d lived with symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder for years: Vivid nightmares. Anxiety. The inability to make simple decisions. Anger. “If I felt like... Read More
June 13, 2021
A new service dog at the office? It’s everybody’s job to make it work.
Steve waited until he got home to look inside an envelope a coworker handed him on her last day before retirement. She’d cried when she said goodbye to Steve and his service dog, Mohawk, he recalled as he opened it. Inside, he found a card with a... Read More
May 5, 2021
Dogs offer healing. During Nurse’s Week, Maggie is doing just that.
Maggie didn’t expect to be a front-line worker during a pandemic. And yet, maybe it was destiny. She was born Margaret “Hotlips” Houlihan after all, and very much like her namesake from M*A*S*H, the 3-year-old white Labrador retriever... Read More