Dog Bit Soldier To Stop Him From Killing Himself

Dog Bit Soldier To Stop Him From Killing Himself

Soldiers see and do things that no one should have to during times of war. However, for the ones that make it home safely, sometimes the hardest part is fitting back into civilian life.

“When you go to war you see all these horrible things,” said 30-year-old Ryan, who served two tours in Afghanistan. “Then your whole idea of humanity is clouded. It didn’t really hit me until I got out of the army.”

The Australian spent nine months in Afghanistan on his first tour serving in the second combat engineer regiment before returning to Australia in 2010. Then in 2013, he was sent back to the Middle East for another five months to search for IEDs and weapons.

During his time home, he met his six-year-old wolfhound mix named Yogi. He was just a normal dog but has become his literal lifesaver as he struggles with PSTD since teaching him how to be a service dog. “If my brain’s going to flip out with TBI [traumatic brain injury] stuff where I like break down and get lost and don’t know where I am, I can tell Yogi to take me outside or to the car or a safe place,” he said.

“You can’t teach a dog to have sense but you can teach them what to do when they notice you have a reaction to something. The dog can detect when someone’s about to have a fit and get them to lie down.”

One time, Ryan was struggling so much, he was about to take his own life with a knife, but Yogi did whatever he had to to stop him. “If I hadn’t met Yogi, I’d be dead by now,” he said. “He bit me once, hard enough to bleed, to get me to let go of a knife. He’s saved my life a few times.”
Now Ryan has found purpose in training other dogs to help other soldiers with PTSD with an organization called Soldier On, and is sharing his story to show how Yogi has changed his life. “I don’t want to rely on the government, I want to be a dog trainer and help people like me,” said Ryan.

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