Patriot Paws at PVN: A Service for Those Who Served

On Friday, September 15, two Patriot Paws ambassadors, accompanied by a delightful furry companion named Pretzel, paid a special visit to the residents of Presbyterian Village North (PVN). Their mission? To shed light on the invaluable role of Service Dogs, generously provided by the Patriot Paws organization, in the lives of deserving veterans.

Patriot Paws, a 501(c)(3) non-profit headquartered in Rockwall, Texas, specializes in training and gifting Service Dogs to disabled American Veterans and individuals with mobility challenges. These four-legged heroes not only restore physical abilities but also provide emotional support. A large majority of American veterans face daily battles with post-traumatic stress disorder, and Patriot Paws has played a vital role in saving lives. Since its inception in 2006, they have successfully placed more than 200 Service Dogs across the country.

Leading this informative visit was Dr. Roger Alexander, PVN resident and retired Navy surgeon who has dedicated five years of his life as a Patriot Paws volunteer ambassador. Alongside him was Paula Sterling, another Patriot Paws volunteer ambassador and puppy raiser extraordinaire. Paula, with the assistance of the adorable Pretzel, a five-month-old Goldador (a mix of Golden Retriever and Labrador), showcased the intricate training these future Service Dogs undergo. Their demonstration included tasks such as precise verbal commands, hand cues and even the clever feat of pressing an “easy button.” It takes a minimum of 2.5 years of training to earn the title of a Service Dog.

The educational demonstration drew an audience of twenty PVN residents, all captivated by Pretzel’s abilities. After the presentation, they had the joy of interacting with this remarkable pup.

For those eager to get involved, Patriot Paws offers volunteer opportunities such as becoming a puppy raiser, lending a hand at the kennel or providing administrative support. Earlier this month, a group of eight members from PVN’s Rehab and Wellness team visited Patriot Paws to learn more about the organization, tour the facilities and hear about the volunteer opportunities available. Click here to discover how you can be part of this pawsitive organization.