She saved my life

by mark charlton. Published 28 September 2017

she saved my life I would very much love to share my story and give others in a similar position to me that light they may need to find their next adventure. My name is Mark Charlton, I'm an armed forces veteran with a debilitating spinal injury amongst other disabilities I sustained during my service to the country. Life has been incredibly challenging for me especially over the past 5 years, dealing with PTSD and trying to adapt to life, bound by limitations. At just the age of 23 I was medically discharged and my life had changed forever . I struggled from job to job changing careers and over the last 9 years life has been very difficult. At the beginning of last year, I hit rock bottom. I really couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel and was struggling day to day. I had been trying to enquire about obtaining a service dog for further assistance with my disabilities as well as a companion animal and it was proving to be almost impossible and incredibly expensive. I began doing my own research into reputable breeders and decided to attempt raising a puppy myself and training her with the help of a dog trainer. I spoke to several, across Australia and was declined help. Yet another road block. Shortly after finding a breeder and buying a puppy, ABC aired a Catalyst episode with a dog trainer by the name of Ryan Tate. I emailed him immediately, hoping by chance, he could offer me some guidance in the right direction. Ryan and Jennifer Tate, based in Sydney, have quite honestly changed my life around and have offered me ongoing, regular phone support whenever I've needed it to help me with 'Bess', my now 9-month-old pup. Ryan flew down here to Tasmania in January 2017 to take her training to the next level and she is coming along in leaps and bounds. She already knows how to retrieve items like shoes, remote control and keys from around the house, but down the track she will be trained up to detect oncoming seizures and press an emergency button I wear around my neck if I am unresponsive to her licks. I honestly feel like Bess, Jen and Ryan have given me a new lease on life and I am thoroughly enjoying throwing my energy into training Bess and in someway i can see a dim light at the end of the tunnel. Bess is my right hand I don't know where i would of been if i hadn't sent that email to the Tate"s. At just 9 weeks of age Bess arrived to me a gorgeous Black labrador she has been fussy eater since day 1 but after converting Bess to Black- Hawlk her coat has been shiny she runs non stop she is so happy and I put that down to the Black - hawk food that Bess is on. Bess has had so much media attention down here in Tasmania and if you knew me I am a very shy person but putting the word out there to try and help others has been my She Saved My Life passion and hope if there is someone out there that is struggling know that there is a light out there for you also. thank you Ryan & Jenni Tate for everything you have done for me I am eternally greatfujll Thank you Black- Talk for keeping my Bess healthy and enjoying life when she is happy it makes me smile so please except my thanks Black- Hawk Ps: like us on facebook: besstheservicedog

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