Berry has helped me begin to find myself again.
– Natalie –
In early 2016, while I was working with the Police Detection Dogs, I purchased a Labrador pup “Berry”. I had intended for Berry to be my companion dog but shortly after I got her I was hospitalised. While I was unwell with anxiety and PTSD, I learnt about Integra.
When Berry was assessed and deemed suitable to commence the Integra Dog Training Program I began training with Ken. We have been working as a team ever since.
Since starting my journey with the Integra team, I have been visiting public places that I have not felt comfortable going to for a long time. Before starting my training, I would panic and do anything to avoid leaving home. With Berry it is getting easier to go out by concentrating on her throughout our outings, and now we can achieve daily tasks in high traffic town areas. One of the many benefits Berry provides is that she creates a buffer between myself and others, allowing me to move around without them invading my personal space.
Berry has shown such loyalty and empathy, she accompanies me most times I leave home. She can sense when I am anxious or irritable and comes up to nuzzle my hands, helping me to focus on her instead of how I am feeling.
The Integra Service Dogs Team have not only supported me throughout my dog training but have taught me many other valuable skills and encouraged me to continue to engage with the community. With their support, Berry and I have visited areas of town again that I wouldn’t have imagined possible before.
The day Ken told me we had passed our P.A.T. evaluation, the feeling of achieving this gave me such a boost of confidence. I would like to thank the Integra team for their wonderful patience and support and I look forward to overcoming new challenges.