St. Louis Post President
Dear St. Louis Post Members,
At the end of this month, we, along with the Scott Field Post, will host the 3rd Annual Trivia Night & Silent Auction Veterans Benefit Event. The proceeds of this event will go to Missouri Patriot Paws (MPP), a non-profit organization that trains service dogs for veterans and first responders with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Their mission is “…to help our war heroes and first responders improve in their symptoms of PTSD, adjust back into civilian life, lead a more productive life and help them build self-esteem.” They also help the pet overpopulation problem by placing shelter or rescue dogs into good homes. Most of the service dogs are rescued from local shelters and are paired with a veteran/first responder, and they train together until graduation. Please consider volunteering, donating silent auction items, sponsoring, and joining us on the 28th at the Grand Hall on Chouteau.
Dogs are amazing! I have two dogs myself: an 8-year-old German Shepherd (who has a fierce bark but is frightened of thunder and lightning) and an 18-month-old Belgian Malinois (whose energy is seemingly endless except at the beginning and end of the day when he loves being snuggled and massaged), along with two that will live forever in my heart. I will never forget the day that we had to put those first two dogs down. Rex was a shepherd-lab mix and was “the Best Dog Ever!” It seemed he could read the minds of family members and give them the “puppy-love” they needed. Lily was a boxer-lab mix; she “picked” us as her new family when my husband went to the pound looking for our second dog. Her love was food, food, and food. While Rex would bury his treats for later, Lily would dig up Rex’s stores and eat them.
Each of my four dogs have/had unique personalities and were so easily lovable, even to my sister who does not like dogs even one bit (more on her later). It is no wonder that dogs can be trained to be companions for our veterans and first responders. Dogs have senses that we can understand (their senses of smell and hearing are at a level above ours) and sensibilities we cannot fully understand. Dogs inherently read their surroundings and their humans including mannerisms and voice tone. The dogs trained by the MPP team can read their companion and shift their focus from what is causing the anxiety, stress, or agitation and redirect and/or diffuse the situation. Plus, we all know of service dogs that “provide” sight for the blind and of dogs sensing early stages of a medical reaction (diabetic event, elliptic seizure; the list is endless). This is truly an amazing group changing the lives of all involved with the organization and specifically of the beneficiary; they have given us so much by serving in the military and/or being a first responder.
We are proud to support this group and grateful for the passion needed by MPP to continue their mission!
P.S. My niece brought a puppy home with her when moving back after completing college. Via group text, my sister announced to the family that “hell froze over” when telling us of the puppy (Hank) and that he would be an indoor dog. My sister now understands the unconditional love dogs bring into people’s lives now that she has “grown-up” with Hank.
Karen Frederich, PE, CFM
President, St. Louis Post