Service dog changes life of veteran with PTSD

A Minnesota army veteran and father-of-five who suffered silently from the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has a life line in his service dog, Jed.

Carl Ringberg returned from a tour in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2013, Fox9 reported. In his transition to civilian life, he began suffering “anger issues, emotional numbness, flashbacks, nightmares,” he told the news channel.

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Initially, the Burnsville man tried medications to relieve his symptoms, but nothing worked so he decided to look for another tool to treat his PTSD. After researching service dog programs, he found Helping Paws and his golden retriever, Jed. Six-year-old Jed was having trouble being placed for separation anxiety issues, which made the bond between the pair even more meaningful.

“Jed wasn’t going to get placed with Helping Paws,” Ringberg told Fox 9. “When I found him it was kind of a perfect fit because I needed that constant attention, that constant touch and so did he.”

Jed has become an honorary member at Waste Management, where Ringberg is a senior district fleet manager.

“I oversee the shop so there’s a lot of noises, loud noises, but him not being startled or being afraid allows me to stay calm and not be afraid,” he told the news channel.

Ringberg joined the Helping Paws board to help others with PTSD connect with the organization.

“To the veterans out there, there’s help out there, get the help you deserve,” he said.

For more information about Helping Paws click here. If you are interested in applying for a service dog through the organization, click here.