Sailing and Therapy
Rachel and Stephen Spence work in military information technology at Ft. Eustis and Norfolk Naval Base, respectively. Each has observed the beneficial effects of therapy dogs on PTSD soldiers and sailors returning from the Afghanistan War. “They have a calming effect on patient and can read his emotions,” Rachel said. “They also give the person an outlet to care for, to get beyond their own condition,” Stephen added. Labrador retrievers are the preferred breed, and handlers take a year or two to train them. “The trainers are often reluctant to give them up,” Rachel added.