Doreen Manning, Worcester Magazine: Everyday skills. Extraordinary independence. That is just one of the mottos of NEADS, a local agency that has been providing assistance dogs for deaf and disabled Americans for more than 30 years – right here in greater Worcester. Full Story
Claire Kim, MSNBC: Two survivors of the Boston Marathon bombings celebrated Valentine’s Day in a very special way at Copley Place, near the site of the attack last April. Jessica Kensky enlisted the help of an organization called NEADS to plan a surprise for her husband Patrick Downes. The couple stood near the finish line when the bombs went off during the marathon and were seriously injured.
Sharron Kahn Luttrell, The Boston Globe: Since the Boston Marathon bombings, Jessica Kensky and her husband, Patrick Downes, have been grappling with the enormity of all they have lost. The attack cost each a leg, casting the young couple into a nightmarish world of trauma and recovery and shattering their plan to move to the West Coast, where Downes had accepted a pre-doctoral internship in clinical psychology. But late last month, the flow of loss was offset a bit when the couple gained something: a young, black Labrador retriever named Rescue.
Beth Teitell, The Boston Globe: When Kevin Lambert’s service dog, a black Lab named Ronnie, senses he’s in a funk, she plunks her head down in his lap or sometimes climbs right onto it, all 65 pounds of her. When they’re out together, she sticks by the Army vet’s side, helping to keep his post traumatic stress disorder at bay, and makes him feel less alone.
Julia Spitz, Milford Daily News: A suburban mom and a prisoner team up to turn a yellow Lab puppy into a faithful service dog. If you think that sounds like a great idea for a movie, you're not alone. CBS Films optioned the rights before "Weekends with Daisy'' was even written. The film might not be coming to a theater near you until 2015 or 2016, but the book by Mendon author Sharron Kahn Luttrell is being released next month. And if you think the movie plot synopsis tells you all you need to know about the book, think again.
Rebecca Ruiz, The Atlantic: When it comes to treating veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, no intervention regularly receives as glowing reviews as service dogs. The use of service dogs to treat PTSD is new, though, and many of the findings at this point are anecdotal. Many veterans had eagerly hoped a pioneering study conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs would buttress their personal experiences with science that could support implementing widespread therapeutic use.