There was a split second there where his like, “wait, what? bro what are you doing?”
On more serious note, PTSD dogs for veterans are so fucking therapeutic. They’re like the one person you can spill your guts to and never worry about ever being judged or have that secret divulged. There are times when I definitely prefer the company of a dog over a human.
Therapy animals save lives.
These dogs are even still so much more amazing. They check rooms before their handler enters, so they can clear it to help the person feel safe. Like in the gif, they are there when panic attacks or nightmares occur, to be something for the person to help ground themselves on, or yes just to turn on the lights. Even more amazing, many people are able to reduce their medication when they have a PTSD service dog there to help them. These dogs are useful for not just veterans, but also victims of abuse, accident trauma, natural disasters, and others. Their training allows them to be useful in situations where medical assistance is needed, as well. Some PTSD dogs are trained to recognize repetitive behaviours in handlers, and signal the handler to break the repetition and stopping the behaviour and possibly injury.
Service dogs in general are just awesome. Remember to respect any that you see out in public. They are not there for you to walk up to and play with, even the puppies!
My dog (a Doberman Pinscher) and I are a Therapy Dogs International team (if you ask, the handlers/owners will usually let you pet and play with a Therapy Dog, just FYI :) ) and we used to visit a nursing home in my old town every weekend. Everyone loved my girl, from the nurses to the residents’ visitors, and I really liked seeing how much happier they all were. A lot of the residents were WWII veterans, too. One woman who barely talked to anyone chatted to me for almost 2 hours one day while petting my dog, telling me about flying bombers in need of repair to the hangers to get fixed (which absolutely blows my mind). And one man all but broke down crying the first time he saw us, because, as he proceeded to tell me after inviting my dog up on the bed with him, he had been part of the Devil Dogs in the Marine Corps, a War Dogs unit that was comprised mainly of Dobermans. Every Saturday after that, I made it a point to beeline for his room first thing, and we would talk for an hour while he just petted my dog, more talking to her than me. It was the best thing in the world to see him and all the others just light up whenever they saw us (or, really, my dog) enter the room.