FRAZIER PARK, CA - There were 12,632 veterans diagnosed with PTSD in 2013 after returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq. Unfortunately, not all people who have it have the same needs or the same symptoms. Not one prescriptive approach works with everyone. Luckily, there is growing recognition that complementary and alternative therapies may meet the needs of some veterans who've experienced trauma.
One such alternative treatment is in use at the Lockwood Animal Rescue Center in Frazier Park, California. The park takes veterans and introduces them to their own personal therapy wolf to help them find a little bit of piece of mind.
Although most civilians would think living with wolves would be a bit stressful or maybe dangerous, the wolves and the veterans form a special bond because they both have gone through some sort of trauma.
Veteran Jim Minick said, "They kind of teach you how to be calm and confident. It's got some deeper meaning when they accept you… into part of the pack."
The program claims that "Warriors and Wolves" gives veterans the space they need to figure things out. The wolf dogs at Lockwood live in an "in-between" world after being rescued, where they are not quite wolves and not quite dogs- just as many veterans who have served their country do not quite feel like civilians after being warriors.
Animals and nature offer a special environment for healing and remembering how to trust again. What an amazing way to help heal the war that goes on after the war.