Raleigh County veteran making a difference in the lives of veterans with service dog training

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Man and woman’s best friend. People love their pets like children, It’s a bond thousands of people share. for Ernest and Melody Baringer, it’s a way to give back.

“To pass that on to a veteran who doesn’t want to leave his, ok it gives him security to go out in public even if it’s just walking down the side walk,” Ernest Baringer said.

The Baringers train service dogs to help veterans struggling with post traumatic stress disorder. Right now, they have six “recruits” as they call them.

Surprisingly, all six pups are male German Shepherds. Their parents, Izzy and Sarge are obedience trained, but not full service dogs.

The dogs go through intense training. Whether it’s crawling to simulate picking up a knocked over pill bottle or it’s waking up a veteran from a nightmare or flashback.

“Do you want to answer that or do you want me to,” Melody said.

It hits home for Ernest, he’s a Vietnam Veteran who has PTSD.At his side is his service dog, Wally.

“They have bonded like this since the day they met,” Melody said.

Ernest remembers one night in particular, he was having a nightmare, Wally jumped up on the bed, put his paws on his chest and lightly licked his face, calming Ernest down.

“All they want is unconditional love and they provide that,” Ernest said.

The Baringers have only sold one dog in the short time they’ve been open. If you know someone struggling with PTSD, call 304-255-5255.

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