Naval Medical Center San Diego Facility Dog, Murphy
Veterans’ advocates believe that between 10 and 20 percent of veterans returning home from deployment display some level of Traumatic Brain Injury. The V.A. also estimates that nearly 20% of deployed service members suffer from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The visible and invisible wounds of war are tremendous and TLCAD recognizes the overwhelming need to assist our service members and veterans, both on an individual and community basis.Therefore, in addition to placing custom-trained Service Dogs with Wounded Warriors, we also place Facility Dogs. These highly specialized dogs are paired with professionals that provide medical treatment or therapy for service members and veterans, and also touch the lives of Wounded Warriors in outpatient clinics and military hospitals by assisting them to reach their therapeutic and rehabilitation goals. TLCAD is thorough in the placement process, ensuring that Facility Dogs can perform custom cues and behaviors that allow for their professional handlers to effectively utilize them during animal assisted therapy.Facility Dog Murphy was placed with physical therapist Kim Gottshall in the C5 Physical Therapy Vestibular Unit at Naval Medical Center San Diego. Murphy works with Kim to assist patients with traumatic brain injuries andmobility impairments in meeting their rehabilitation goals as well as helps to increase their motivation and ease their anxiety. Murphy works with up to 20 patients a week and the positive impact he has on the lives of service members is profound.
"Murphy is a constant source of help and enjoyment in my therapy sessions. He assists me with standing when I am unsteady and lays with me during mat exercises. He is very reliable, calm, and helpful in each of my appointments. Difficult exercises become a breeze with Murphy to take my mind off the pain, and a great motivator to complete them so I can go back to petting him! I always look forward to attending therapy to work with Murphy and believe him to be a great asset to the Vestibular Physical Therapy program." -NMCSD patient