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Home - by - December 6, 2012 - 18:30 America/New_York - 9 Comments

Two of our favorite subjects!

Rescue dogs pay it forward, saving traumatized vets

by Gail Rosenblum ,  Star Tribune

I wrote about the Sansales a year ago, after the couple created their first calendar featuring rescue dogs working as therapy dogs. Lynn, who is retired from hospital administrative work, interviewed the pets’ owners about their outreach in hospitals, nursing homes, schools and libraries.

Paul, a Twin Cities art director and illustrator, photographed, then painted, exquisite portraits of the pooches.

They sold nearly all 4,000 “Rescue Dog to Therapy Dog” calendars within weeks and were set to create a similar calendar for 2013. Then Fitz changed everything.

Fitz is an English cocker spaniel and, according to Paul, “probably the prettiest dog I’ve ever seen.” That isn’t the reason he’s the cover boy for the 2013 edition, “Rescued Heroes.”

Fitz earned top billing by proving that a well-trained rescue dog also can work wonders with veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. “That’s the ultimate dog story, if you ask me,” Lynn said, “because they save lives.”

This isn’t the story they planned to tell. But while marketing the 2012 calendar, the Sansales were approached by Grace Morris of Brooklyn Center. Morris, owner of a dog-sitting business (www.petbuddyplus.com), bought a case of calendars and mentioned to the Sansales an organization she supports called Paws and Stripes. The Albuquerque-based non-profit (www.pawsandstripes.org) provides trained service dogs at no charge to veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injury.

The organization was founded by Jim Stanek, a veteran of Iraq whose severe PTSD left him home-bound. After receiving his service dog, Sarge, Stanek weaned himself off of 10 drugs and regained his life. He and his wife, Lindsey, were featured in Lisa Ling’s documentary, “The Invisible Wounds of War.”


Read the rest here *sniff*



  1. PearlClutcher

    December 6th, 2012

    Claudia, great find on this article. More please and thank you for posting.

    Thumb up +7

  2. Bayouwulf

    December 6th, 2012

    Yes Claudia, thank you as well. Dogs are Gods greatest gift to mankind from the animal world. Woe be to those who mistreat our friends. I saw an article on the website of a local TV station in my area about a family’s home that was broken into. Over $6500 in belongings and money was stolen. The theives killed the family dog, an eleven pound terrier mix. The report said his ribs were broken so it sounds like they kicked or stomped him. This brought me to tears. I would like an hour alone, in a locked room with that person. Hell does not have a place hot or cold enough for those that would hurt dogs, cats, or children.

    Thumb up +5

  3. PearlClutcher

    December 6th, 2012

  4. Stranded in Sonoma

    December 6th, 2012

    Here’s a doggie photograph for you. Check out what the Marine is using for a pillow.

    Thumb up +7

  5. serfer62

    December 6th, 2012

    After the divorce Duke was my best buddy

    Thumb up +3

  6. Bayouwulf

    December 6th, 2012

    @PearlCluthcher, that is sad that someone would willingly do that to a dog. I’m thrilled that Trooper seems to be recovering. There was an incedent sometime back where a similar event occured here in E. Tenn. Here is the story I first mentioned. My dogs are about the same size.

    Thumb up +3

  7. Aunt Liz

    December 6th, 2012

    Thanks Claudia! I’m thinking I need to get some of those calendars for Christmas presents. God sure is an interesting guy. I think he created dogs to give us a feeling of what HE feels when we are obedient and loving to Him. Just a though.

    Thumb up +3

  8. Aunt Liz

    December 6th, 2012

    GRRR – revision please – God sure is an interesting Guy. I think He created dogs to give us a feeling of what HE feels when we are obedient and loving to Him. Just a thought

    There – fixed.

    Thumb up +2

  9. sandybanks

    December 6th, 2012

    All of the organizations who do this work are worthy of our support. This is the one I donate to:


    You’ve heard of Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind. They created America’s VetDogs in 2003 to serve the needs of veterans.

    Thumb up +1