When Vietnam Veteran Richard Patterson visited his local animal shelter 5 years ago, he didn’t know that the dog he saved would end up saving his life.
It didn’t begin that way. Richard was getting ready to leave the shelter but one dog named Buddy wouldn’t leave him alone. The little dog, was “all over him” and when Richard found out Buddy was slated to be euthanized the next day for heart worms, he decided to take the dog home.
Not long after, Buddy began behaving oddly around Richard. Buddy kept barking at Richard and pawing at his head. He decided to listen to Buddy and went to see a doctor. It turned out that the scratch he had on his head was actually an aggressive form of skin cancer! “Buddy caught it just in time!” Richard told WSET News.
Since then, Richard and Buddy’s friendship has gotten only deeper. The two go everywhere together and Buddy helps Richard with his PTSD and socializing. Richard is also a diabetic, and realizing Buddy has a special talent for detecting ailments, he got Buddy certified as a service dog. Buddy now will alert Richard if his blood sugars are low.
The two also visit nursing homes together and are workout at the gym together several times a a week. “Taking care of a dog is 24/7, but he takes care of me 24/7 so it all works out,” said Richard.
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