Jeremy spent eight years as a combat medic in the Army, and from 2004-2005 he did a tour of duty in Iraq. He says he saw the best and the worst of humanity while he was there. Unfortunately, it’s the worst that he remembers the most. Those memories have made life hard for him since returning home.
“The first week back I had a nightmare, and after that I couldn’t get to sleep at all. I had to choose between staying up all night or having the bravery to go back to sleep because some of the stuff I saw over there will never leave me.”
Jeremy was desperate for some sort of relief. If not for himself, so he could be a good father to his daughter. He loves spending time with his little girl, but the things that stayed with him from Iraq made it hard to face day-to-day life. Those things made it hard to be there for her. Things were getting bad for Jeremy.
“I was contemplating suicide before I got Daisy. So getting her was a matter of life and death. I had already been through countless medications, countless doctors.”
Daisy was trained to sense when Jeremy is about to have a nightmare, and she can lick and nuzzle him to either wake him up or calm him down. Jeremy was skeptical. He didn’t think it would work. How was a dog, even a trained one, going to help him sleep when a doctor couldn’t? It was like flipping a switch on that first night.
“The first night I got Daisy, I was able to sleep without any kind of medication or anything like that. It was truly an amazing experience for me.”
Daisy quickly became more than a sleep aid, and more than a service dog. She became a member of Jeremy’s family. He credits her with keeping his life together, and with keeping him around. Daisy has helped him have a better life, and be there for his daughter.
“My relationship with Daisy has gotten stronger — I mean, yeah, it was strong in the beginning, don’t get me wrong. She really just became the glue of my little family.”
Jeremy is thankful for all that Daisy has given. He’s thankful for the peace she brings him at night. He’s happy that his daughter has been able to connect with Daisy, and that Daisy has helped him be there for his daughter. And despite all of these amazing things Daisy has done, Jeremy is happiest when she’s able to just be a dog.
“I like to take Daisy to the river after all the work she does for me, I get to let her loose and let her be free. Those are my favorite moments with her. She is not thinking about me, she is thinking about the water and herself. It’s beautiful to watch.”
It’s clear that she means so much to him. Daisy has given so much for Jeremy, and for his daughter. It’s a beautiful thing, and we’re happy to be a small part in supporting it. And Daisy is just happy to be there for her family.