As our conversation at the Carlsbad coffee house winded down, a palm frond fell from a tree onto a nearby table.
The loud bang quieted the patio of voices, until the embarrassed laughter of diners being scared over nothing broke the silence.
I turned back to face Carlos. He was looking down at his hands. Logan had moved from his comfortable position beneath the table, and was now resting his head on Carlos’s knee.
“He knew I needed that,” Carlos said, barely above a whisper.
Indeed, that may be one of the most important ways service dogs like Logan help vets with PTSD. One of the hallmark symptoms of PTSD is hyper vigilance – a survival mechanism learned in combat, but one that can’t be simply switched off when the war is over.
Carlos said he knew Logan had a better sense of smell and hearing than he did, and trusted Logan to alert him of any danger – be it real or imagined - which allowed the Marine veteran to relax, even if only a little bit.
Tomorrow, "Even the Devil Can't Fool a Dog" - Part 11