James & Jacka

I am so proud of my best friend Jacka. I am amazed at how far we have come in such a short time. Jacka has changed my life in many ways.

– James –

I am an ill health retired First Responder with 30 years service.  During 2006, I was diagnosed with severe P.T.S.D, depression and anxiety.  I had been struggling with the above since 1998 but did not seek assistance due to the culture of the workplace I was working in. I first found out about the program via my brilliant psychologist who put me in contact with Integra Service Dogs Australia. Integra along with Guide Dogs Victoria organised for me to be partnered with a very handsome black labrador called Jacka. I have been part of the Integra team since February 2018.

From gifting me Jacka to arranging sleeping quarters and excellent training, Integra is always willing to assist and do so in a kind and caring manner.  They understand P.T.S.D and do things without causing any stress to the new handler. Integra is something that I am so pleased to be associated with and I can’t thank them enough for how they have changed my life.

I am so proud of my best friend Jacka. I am amazed at how far we have come in such a short time. Jacka has changed my life in many ways. He wakes me every morning by firstly looking right into my face and mumbling to me.  If that doesn’t work, he begins to lick my face and if I don’t get out of bed he gets up and lays his 31 kilos across me. Prior to Jacka, I spent many days a week staying in bed, not socialising or exercising and made excuses as to why I couldn’t go places.  I was constantly hyper-vigilant, couldn’t sit with my back to a doorway or have anyone behind me.  Now I get up every morning because my best mate wants me to.  I feel that Jacka protects me. He has given me the confidence to do things like go on a train and walk in a crowded area.

It’s still baby steps but life is better now than it was before Jacka. I cannot praise the work Integra does enough.  They have not only changed my life but the lives of my long-suffering wife and children.

 

 

 

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