"There’s no medicine like a dog"

In 2017, Hardy and his wife, Mirela, started the nonprofit U.S. Kennels. They rescue dogs from shelters and match them with veterans who need help from a devoted companion. They provide a year of training for veterans and their dogs at their facility, along with food, veterinary care and all the supplies they need, at no charge to the veterans.

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The organization has matched around 50 veterans with canine companions, and they have a waiting list for more.

Sam Landis of Greenwood, Delaware, an Army veteran who has PTSD, has trained since August at U.S. Kennels with her mixed-breed dog, Bodhi, who she jokes was a “streetwalker” that ended up at the Wicomico County Humane Society shelter.

The dog keeps a protective bubble around her, she says, and “gets me to a better space.” He can predict her panic attacks and places his paws on her lap for gentle compression if she doesn’t feel well. Like a guardian angel, he never leaves her side. With help from Bodhi, Landis said, her world is expanding and becoming a less frightening place.

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