In December 2019 we had Sam a Firefighter/Medic
located in Washington DC reach out to us for help in
matching him with a Goldendoodle for cross training as a
service and therapy dog.
The dog is being trained as a psychiatric service dog but
will also be going through training to help first
responders throughout North America. Sam is a trained
as a Peer Support Specialist and also as a Critical Incident
Stress Debriefing coordinator. Sam has been diagnosed
with PTSD for 10 years with a majority of the stress
coming from his job as a firefighter. His diagnosis is
chronic and will be for his life time. The dog would be able to benefit both Sam and others. Sam has been deployed to three critical incidents so far.
Sam has an existing service dog a Husky called Kyler and they have been together for over 6 years. Kyler has been retired and the new puppy has taken on the role. As you can see from the photo Kenji was told to go to place but for some reason his place mat was in the drawer, so like with any well-trained service dog he did as he was told and climbed into the desk drawer.
When Sam informed his unit that he was getting a new
service dog in training, apparently, they all asked for a
Goldendoodle or something that would not shed, since their
uniforms are blue and they were constantly removing husky
We signed contracts in April 2020 and then started looking for a Goldendoodle that would be able to be trained as a Psychiatric PTSD dog as well as used for Animal Assisted Intervention for those Critical
Incident needs. We evaluated a litter that was born in February
2020and one puppy now named Kenji was the potential match for Sam. In April 2020 Sam came to Georgia and the match was a perfect connection.
Kenji left with Sam who was living in San Diego at the time and
commuting to work in DC to start his new life. Then COVID-19 hit and
everyone was grounded. Sam managed one more trip for training
towards the end of 2020 but other than that Zoom, Video and any other
means possible have been our training abilities.
Sam as of January 2021 is now permanently back at work and stationed in Washington DC. Vaccinated,
Sam and Kenji will be able to have some practical hands-on training starting in 2021 here in Atlanta GA
during his off-shift days. We usually will train long distance teams monthly or every other month.
Paws For Life USA has and continues to work with Sam and Kenji knowing that they needed financial
sponsorship, we are now looking to find a benefactor for them.
Please consider helping Sam and Kenji raise $18,000 which is the donation needed to sponsor Kenji’s
training to alert and assist Sam and be cross trained for AAI to help with disasters. No donation is too
small and every donation is life changing and appreciated more than you know.
Paws for Life USA, a 501c3 non-profit corporation, dedicated to training
The tax ID for your tax-deductible donation is: 86-1094919
Paws for Life USAP.O. Box 72016
Marietta, GA 30007-2016