Kenny and Service Dog Zeus

Zeus, a Ridgeback mix, was given a second chance at life. He was surrendered to a no kill shelter in Florida because his owner could not afford to keep him, and believed that a no kill shelter meant that they do not euthanize the dogs.When Zeus’ owner found out that his dog would have a behavior assessment and he would either be put up for adoption or euthanized on the spot he panicked. At that point he reached out for help.

As luck would have it, Zeus’ owner’s family members worked for Freedom Service Dogs, one of the programs sponsored by Vets Helping Heroes. Zeus was evaluated and accepted into the program.

It was shortly after that when Zeus started his training for brace and balance because of his large size.

Zeus completed FSD’s training program with great success and was matched with Kenny, who was with the Army Reserves when he was injured.

Kenny suffered multiple back injuries from being “blown up and then thrown” from the blast.

Zeus helps Kenny cope with his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as well as his mobility challenges.

Some of the special skills Zeus learned for brace and balance were retrieving dropped items, opening and closing doors, bracing to help Kenny get up if he falls and providing balance and stability while walking, which is why Zeus wears a harness.

Images and biography courtesy of Freedom Service Dogs