Service Dog Pulls Teen Out of Depression
This week, the Vancouver Columbian reported that the group’s founder gave a service dog to a Battle Ground teenager who lost a leg after he was hit at a school bus stop by a car that veered off the road in June 2013.
After doctors amputated his leg, 16-year-old Justin Carey fell into a deep depression.
“I didn’t think I could do anything,” Justin told the Columbian. “I got really sad.”
As his mom, Janette Chumley, saw him becoming more and more withdrawn, she became concerned that Carey would kill himself.
“He had said something to my mom about taking his own life,” Ms. Chumley said. “I honestly thought we were going to lose him.”
Shiva to the Rescue
Because her son had said he wanted a “police dog” since he was little, she thought a dog would help pull Carey out of his depression, so she began to look for a German Shepherd.
She contacted Shannon Walker, Northwest Battle Buddies founder, to see if she could help find a dog for Carey. She knew Walker because her sons were in the ROTC with Justin.
Coincidentally, Walker had a one-year-old German Shepherd named Shiva training to be a service dog but not assigned to anyone yet.
Ms. Walker decided to give Shiva to Justin as a private gift from herself, not Northwest Battle Buddies.
“I don’t normally gift dogs,” she told the Columbian. “It was just the right thing to do.”
Carey and Shiva had an instant connection, and working with her helped him come out of his depression. He’ll get to take her home after he and Shiva “pass the canine good citizen test and the public access test.”
““She licks my face … she knows when I’m cold,” he said. “She’s like my best friend … she made my whole year better.”
Here’s a video from the Columbian telling Carey’s story and showing how Shiva has helped him.