soldier-and-service-dog

YET MORE DOODLES of Bucky and his PTSD service dog FUBAR because I fucking LOVE THIS HEADCANON LIKE IT IS HONESTLY MY FAVORITE HEADCANON I’VE EVER HAD AND I CAN’T STOP THINKING ABOUT IT

Top Left and Right: Sometimes Buck gets bored with his usual workout routine so he’ll do something fun and “low-impact” like one-armed pushups with his 260 lb service doggo on his back! FUBAR is fucking thrilled

Center Left: FUBAR accompanies Buck on a super cute date with Steve! Honestly one of my absolute favorite things about service dogs is their ability to blend into their surroundings, regardless of their size. (In lots of cases they’re always with their humans, so I bet it’s a super essential skill in service dogs. I’ve known people who have huge service dogs that just faded into the woodwork while maintaining constant vigilance! It’s really cool! They’re freaking incredible!)

Center Right: Bucky finally gets a new bionic arm and FUBAR familiarizes himself with it by SNOOFING

Bottom Left: Bucky sometimes has rough days where his head feels Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition and needs something to hold onto to ground him to remind him that he’s safe and doesn’t need to hurt anyone 

Bottom Right: Grocery shopping! FUBAR GOES THROUGH A SHIT TON OF PUPPER FOOD OBVS

2

SOLDIER STORIES: Man’s best friend, survivor’s companion.

[1] Rosco, a “Survivor Syndrome Companion Animal” stands ready to be petted while his veteran, Sgt. 1st Class Jason Syriac, talks to soldiers at his unit in Charlotte, N.C. about the benefits of companion animals for soldiers who have “Survivor Syndrome.” Syriac also spends his free time helping to rescue and train other dogs, in hopes that some of those animals will become companion animals for other service members who endure the condition as well.

[2] Rosco stands behind his veteran during formation. Sgt. 1st Class Jason Syriac is a two-time OIF veteran and currently serves as a military police officer with the North Carolina National Guard’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 130th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade.

(U.S. Army National Guard Photos and article by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell, 130th Maneuver Enhanced Brigade Public Affairs, 11 JAN 2014. Modifications to article content and wording by R. Etzweiler, 18 JAN 2014.)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - When Rosco walked into the North Carolina Army National Guard Armory in Charlotte, N.C., Jan. 11, 2013, everyone noticed. Every soldier turned their heads as he entered the room; his golden hair flowing, his tail wagging and a great big smile on his face.

Rosco is not just any ordinary dog though; he is a [Survivor Syndrome] companion animal. His veteran is Sgt. 1st Class Jason Syriac, a military police officer with the NCNG’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 130th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade.

“Rosco is a companion animal,” said Syriac, who copes with his condition daily. “He is certified to go into buildings, but he has no specific job but to be a therapeutic dog.”

That job, though, is a very important job for any veteran who struggles daily to engage healthy coping mechanisms for their condition. Training for a companion animal varies depending on where it is trained, but most dogs require one to three weeks or more of training based on the skills they need to perform.

Dogs like Rosco, whose task is largely companionship and emotional support, do not require as much intensive training. However, some dogs may learn how to turn on lights in a house if the service member is afraid of going into a dark house or to alert their owner if there is a situation that may trigger some aspect of their condition.

“A companion animal has to qualify as a good-citizen dog,” said Syriac. “It has to go through a series of tests and training to make sure the dog is qualified as a good-citizen; that he won’t be aggressive or be nervous or bite anybody.”

There are currently several organizations across the country that train companion animals and bring together dogs and service members struggling with Survivor Syndrome. Triumphant Tails, Inc., an organization based out of Raleigh N.C., trains service dogs for people with a broad range of needs, including veterans.

“Training a service dog for a [soldier with Survivor Syndrome] can take from 6-12 months depending on what tasks the service dog needs to perform,” said Megan Standish, founder and head trainer at Triumphant Tails. 

Standish, a former Army captain, suffered a traumatic brain injury while serving in Iraq, which causes her to suffer seizures. She started Triumphant Tails after being introduced to therapy and service dogs during her recovery.  She said her personal service dog alerts her when she is about to have a seizure so she can take her medication. The dogs she trains can also perform a variety of tasks to help their handlers. 

“Some of the tasks these dogs can perform are blocking, waking a handler during a nightmare and retrieving medications so the handler doesn’t forget to take them,” Standish said. “Dogs can also retrieve items on command, call 911 in an emergency and turn on lights. We can tailor each dog to the specific need of each handler.”

In addition to being helpful, there are many benefits to the relationship formed between the service members and their dog. “Some people, all they need is a buddy to be there for them between their ups and downs and not judge,” Syriac said. “Dogs are always happy to see you. They are not going to betray you or leave you for another owner.”

Service members with [Survivor Syndrome] can sometimes be tense and worried. Syriac said having a companion animal like Rosco around could distract from those feelings and helps service members deal with their surroundings. “Everyone flocks over Rosco,” Syriac said. “People ask to pet him and they love on him and they get down on the floor with him. He brings happiness to everyone.”

“That’s another benefit of companion animals,” he said. “If other people are happy and you see other people being happy, your tendency is to become happy as well. It’s contagious.” 

Standish said this interaction can be a benefit and help start the recovery process for service members with [Survivor Syndrome]. “A dog forces you [to engage], to get out and interact with society,” Standish said. “Even just taking your dog for a walk two times a day and acknowledging and answering questions and comments like ‘Your dog is so pretty’ or ‘What is his name,’ is a great start to learning how to function in society again.”

Dogs need exercise and so do service members with this condition. “You know your dog needs exercise so you are definitely going to bring the dog out and exercise it,” Syriac said. “Exercise benefits those suffering from this condition.” And that is what Syriac said works for him, exercise and a companion animal. He said those two things keep him centered and relaxed.

Syriac, a two-time Iraq veteran, spends his free time rescuing dogs from kill shelters in the Raleigh area; training them and familiarizing them with domestic environments (or “re-homing” them) to civilians and service members so that they too can enjoy the benefits he said he gets from Rosco. “There are a lot of high-kill shelters in the area where a lot of dogs just need a home,” he said. “So I scoop them up and re-home; I train them and integrate them into society and introduce them to other dogs. Rosco has seen 18 dogs come through my home in the past year and he welcomed them all with open paws.”

Of those 18 dogs, four became companion animals, and Syriac has no problem traveling to get K-9s to their new homes. He has driven as far north as Boston and as far south as Florida to bring dogs to their new owners. Syriac hopes that others will get to experience the joy and benefits of having a dog as a companion.

“Rosco is always there for me,” he said. “Even if I’m having a miserable day, I can just look at Rosco and he makes me happy.”

More doodles of Bucky and his service dog FUBAR!

Top Left: FUBAR on a walk with his Human and his Human’s Best Guy!

Top Right: Bucky really loves to lie around in the sun (because it’s the opposite of being in cryo or literally and figuratively living in the shadows), but FUBAR is like 80% floof so he prefers to lie around in the shade. This is how they compromise! 

Middle Left: Sometimes Buck isolates himself a little too much and FUBAR can be a good conversation starter. However, Bucky also sometimes gets nervous around people and FUBAR knows this so he’s always On Duty and ready to protect his human! (I couldn’t resist throwing in a cute Kobik Alternate Meeting cameo because I love her relationship with Bucky!)

Middle Right: Buck loves to go to the library to help supplement his journaling and FUBAR is super helpful and holds Buck’s books while he juggles his apartment keys! FUBAR is very poised. 

Bottom: Sometimes Buck gets a lil overwhelmed and cries and that’s okay but sometimes he has trouble stopping so FUBAR will bring his Human his favorite ball and it makes Buck smile a little, which is good! (Loosely based on this beautiful post, originally sent to me by @doveloves!) 

IM NEVER GONNA STOP DRAWING FUBAR ART IT’S MY FAVORITE IDEA I’VE EVER HAD THIS DOGGO IS MY MAGNUM OPUS

River the Service Dog at @newyorkcomiccon on Saturday, October 10, 2015. 

She’s cosplaying as Barky Barnes, The Winfur Soldier. 

I’m @perforatedsanity, the one in the wheelchair, wearing the Marvel print skirt. This is a much better picture than the one where she’s sitting. 

River is the proud winner of a special, just for her category at the Marvel Booth’s annual costume contest. She won a Guardians of the Galaxy comic signed by Yondu himself, Michael Rooker! 

@ohcaptainmycaptain1918, @directorshellhead, @newyorkcomicconcosplays, @allofthefeelings, @greenbergsays, @rescuemepotts, @marvelentertainment

Service Dog

(A/N: This is seriously just an adorable Bucky drabble that stems from this drawing. I don’t know who to credit, except to link to the post. It’s adorable as heck. At least, I think so.)

“Bucky…” You sighed heavily, looking over at the man, a man you had come to know as more than just the Winter Soldier. He was stoic, he was cold, he was occasionally unpredictable to some. But now…

He smiled widely, adjusting the large bag slung around the shoulder with his metal arm, “She got tired!” Inside the bag, much to your surprise at first, was the German Shepherd that Sam had helped him get once he was settling back into civilian life.

The dog looked thrilled, smiling and panting in the overly-large bag (where did he even find it???) staring at everyone and everything.

You pinched the bridge of your nose, “Bucky, she’s a service dog. She doesn’t get tired after a walk around the city.” You looked back at him and sighed heavily.

The dog perked up and stuck her head out further, licking at Bucky’s face and causing him to laugh, “Ok, fine! You got me. I just… don’t those girls carry their dogs in bags? I’ve seen it around. That’s a thing people do now, right?”

Right. Of course. Occasionally it escaped you that Bucky didn’t exactly read gossip columns online or watch trash TV with you. He was a man who was still recovering from war and being frozen for years at a time. This was not a man who understood that dogs didn’t typically go into bags to get carted around the city. At least, not dogs this size.

He was relaxed, though. And the dog was licking his face still, “Tell you what, take her out of the bag and we’ll go for a walk. Trust me, she probably prefers it. Sam trained her that way.” You grinned and raised an eyebrow. Bucky smiled, blushing a little as he let the dog down. Immediately she jumped out of the bag and stood by Bucky at attention. She was panting, clearly happy, but she was happier now that she’d been allowed to do her job again.

“So… am I using her right? Sam said she was a service dog, but I don’t know what service she’s supposed to do.” The smile didn’t leave his face as he knelt by the dog, stroking her soft fur. Since the adoption of the dog, Bucky had slept through the night pretty regularly. Even when his flashbacks started, the dog would feel it, yip, and gently lick his hand, bringing him back to reality. Bucky had no idea the therapy she provided. Thank god for Sam Wilson, right? The man who had run a service placing dogs with veterans. 

You smiled, walking over and gently pushing back Bucky’s hair as he stood to face you, bright and happy, “Yeah. You’re doing just fine.”

Originally posted by natpekis

( @little-red-83 @jodyri @ackleholic96 @iwantthedean @holywaterbucketchallenge @kazchester-fanfiction @doct0rstrange @supernaturallymarvellous @sketchbookthingz @skymoonandstardust @ohheyitsmik @flintera @fvckingavengers @growningupgeek @growleytria @ellen-reincarnated1967 )

Dog Bless You:  Meet Cameron and Harper, a strong duo made possible by Freedom Service Dogs. Cameron is a 4th generation soldier who suffers from PTSD. He refers to Harper as his ‘battle buddy:’ “In combat, you can’t go anywhere alone. You don’t go anywhere without your battle buddy. In civilian life, I want my service dog to be my battle buddy. I want my dog to go everywhere I go.”