Through this journey Integra has been a great organisation that helps those with struggling issues and has played a big part in my life and my journey with Ivy.
– Jason –
I served Eighteen years of service in the ARA with 3 overseas deployments being East Timor 2002-03, Afghanistan Tarin Kowt 2007-08 and Afghanistan Kandahar 2009-10. I came across an article about the Integra program in the beginning of 2017 whilst I was waiting for an appointment at the RAP on base at the time, a bit of light reading. I got in contact with Mr Johnson and inquired about what the requirements were to receive a Service Dog as a person with PTSD in or out of Defence.
Once I completed the application documentation and was accepted into the program and after multiple discussions with Mr Johnson and one of their dog trainers, around mid-2017 I received Ivy. I cannot thank the Integra team and all those involved enough for making this all possible and helping to get me to where I am now. From there I was put in contact with one of Integra’s assistance dog trainers, Emelia, in Melbourne around August 2017. Training for the PAT required me to attend training once a week with Emelia to progress and eventually complete the PAT with Ivy.
Emelia was a great help as I was her first Veteran to train with the program, and we both learnt a lot from each other. She told me about Integra Service Dogs Australia and the weekly reports of my progress with Ivy and other outstanding requirements needed. Through this journey Integra has been a great organisation that helps those with struggling issues and has played a big part in my life and my journey with Ivy.
Whilst doing training with Emelia, she would suggest what Ivy was required to do and I would implement the handling training with Ivy to progress to the next stage, such as commands and how Ivy reacts to my triggers.
I have found that being with Integra has helped me to get out more in the community. I’ve had many people ask me about the support Ivy provides, the organisation Ivy is with and the services and support they provide.
In November 2017, I was part of a program with the Australian War Memorial (AWM), Soldier in Resistance Program. In the Program I was proud to promote Service dogs for Ex-service or serving members, to spread the message and get the Integra team involved. Just recently I was involved in a filmed interview with AWM. I helped raise awareness about Service dogs and the support Integra provides. How having a service dog can be a life line for those who are struggling every day and how Ivy is helping me and my family.