Hero Dog Awards - Gus


Bourbonnais, Illinois

I would like to nominate my service dog,Gus! Not only is he a fun-loving, active, and happy boy he has changed my life for the better in more ways than one. I was diagnosed with PTSD several years ago. I have participated in many treatment options with the goal of getting my control and ability to live as a successful person back again. I was working as an ER nurse when I got Gus as a 7 week old puppy. He helped me get through the beginning of Covid. Covid was hard for all of us, and I was struggling with the added stress on my job, stress of infecting my friends and loved ones, and the stress of increasing isolation. Through it all, Gus was there. When you have PTSD, stress is like caffeine to it: it gets worse and worse. At least, in my case, that is what happened. I had to stop working because I was having more frequent dissociation events at work. I did not know what to do. Gus was already working with his trainer, Terry, and she offered to help me train him to help me when I would dissociate. Gus was young: not even a year old yet, but he was smart, and our connection was strong. He could always sense when something was wrong, and now, he was learning what he could do to help. We worked hard as a team: Gus, me, Terry. Fast forward to today: Gus is 19 months old. He has passed all his certification tests. He is my official service dog, and life is getting better: I am going to be going back to work soon. I would not be here today if not for Gus: this is why he is my hero