Wounded Veterans Gather to Teach Old Dogs New Tricks
NEWPORT NEWS, Va., April 5, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Most training programs start with desire, dedication, and a significant amount of sweat. For wounded veterans and their families, an evening of 'training' served as both education and entertainment, when they attended a show featuring world famous dog trainer Cesar Millan.
Widely known for the television series, Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, 60 Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Alumni and family support members gathered to see the self-taught dog behaviorist, and learn a few tricks for training their furry family members.
Six new Alumni attended their first WWP event, which included a meet and greet dinner as WWP staff answered questions and reviewed programs and services. For WWP, there is a distinct difference between members and Alumni; the term Alumni indicates a mutually shared experience and denotes your earned place in an organization. The WWP Alumni program creates support through shared experiences and events like this bring injured veterans together to build camaraderie and learn they are not alone.
"We learned two new ways to deal with our 7-month old English bulldog puppy, named Onslow. The things we learned allowed us to make an instant change in our dog's behavior," Karine Tovmassian said. She enjoyed the show along with her husband Robert, an Army veteran and WWP Alumnus.
Cesar showcased adoptable dogs from local animal shelters and rescue organizations while demonstrating his training techniques. The audience watched in amazement at how fast his tips worked on dogs who were reported to have behavioral problems.
"My husband and I really appreciated how Cesar used surrendered dogs to help the audience understand that communication with the dog happens at all levels, and happens almost instantly," Karine said.
In his entertaining and humorous way, Cesar commented that a dog's transformation actually begins by training their human companion first. The audience absorbed how to condition their dogs to be 'calm and submissive' and ways to improve a pup's social skills. He stressed the positive effect of truly being in the moment with your dog and how a dog can sense your energy during a relaxing walk.
"We enjoyed our Cesar Millan outing very much; it was helpful and entertaining," Karine said.
The WWP Alumni program is one of 20 direct programs and services offered free of charge to wounded service members, their caregivers, and families. Since being founded in 2003, WWP has evolved its programs and services to meet the growing needs of the constituency it serves. During February 2016, Wounded Warrior Project served 25,853 wounded veterans through one or more of the WWP program pillars of body, mind, economic empowerment, and engagement.
Most recently, WWP launched Warrior Care Network™, a $100 million investment to battle the invisible wounds of war and reach those who might otherwise go untreated. This is a first-of-its-kind partnership between WWP and four national academic medical centers of excellence including Emory Healthcare, Massachusetts General Hospital, Rush University Medical Center, and UCLA Health to connect thousands of injured warriors with world-class mental health care. Learn more at www.warriorcarenetwork.org.
About Wounded Warrior Project
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP's purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.
SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project