Tank& I

Winter Blues

This past Friday was a busy day. I had appointments all day which forced me to leave Tank in his crate most of the day. I know he hates it so much, overtime I try putting him in his crate he tries to run away. I have to bribe him by sticking treats inside before he unwillingly decides to go in, lowering his head walking slowly towards the treats as I close the door behind him.

I had to drive forty minutes to the VA hospital to see my doctor so he could possibly change my sleeping medications because my nightmares and night sweats have been getting worse. It always takes forever to get to the hospital and back home. After three hours I was back home in time to let Tank out to pee. I pet him for a while before I had to leave again to go grocery shopping.

When I got back home and let Tank out the second time he was jumping all over me, overexcited about getting out of his crate. It had started to snow when I brought him out to go pee again. He rode with me to pick Aleah up from school. I’m proud of how well behaved he acts in the car at the school now. He has stopped whimpering while we sit in the car. He usually only barks and growls when we first arrive, then he lays down after I tell him to stop. He is such a smart dog because he picks up on cues and remembers his training.

Aleah is always so happy to see Tank when she opens the car door. Her face lights up instantly once they meet eyes. She quickly buckles up when she gets in and immediately starts petting his head. He likes it a lot and he’s pretty tame with her on the way back home.

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How Tank chooses to sleep after a long belly rub.

 

We ended up getting six inches of snow overnight with the temperature down to negative twelve below zero with a windchill of negative thirty. So as a family we decided to stay inside in our PJ’s all day Saturday and relax. I received Tanks booties early that morning which made me happy because know I don’t have to hear him holler out in pain from his paws freezing on the snow. I can tell he wants to walk around the neighborhood when I take him outside to pee, but it was just too cold to walk.

Sunday was thirty below zero, even a worse day to walk. I put Tank in his crate when I went to church in the morning. It was so cold, I was happy to get back home to get warm. I think the winter is getting to him. He seems depressed that he can’t stay outside, I see him staring out the window sulking over the damn winter while I’m sitting in the living room. he hates it when we go outside just to pee. He tries to walk down the driveway to start a walk but I always just go back inside. We walk plenty when its warm out. Last year I was up to eight miles a day, so he’ll get his fill this spring when we start back up. I guess humans and dogs have the same emotions about being stuck inside on long winter days. Only a few more weeks of cold before spring, seems so long away.

 

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Author of Combat Medic : A soldier's story of the Iraq war and PTSD.Served as a combat medic on the front lines in operation Iraqi freedom/ enduring freedom. Medically retired from the Army in 2006 with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, retired from the VA hospital since 2013. After struggling with PTSD and suicide for twelve years I have made it my priority to share my story with as meany people as I can to help America understand what it's like being a combat veteran back home from war. It is my hope that other veterans can relate to my life and take use the same tools as me to live a better life with PTSD.

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