LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – The Vegas Resiliency Center says trained service dogs were crucial support for One October survivors, and a Las Vegas local explains how their K-9 helped them heal and to thrive.
Cielo, a K-9 trained service for Nadine Lusmoeller, is uniquely adept at helping her owner through PTSD. She was shot in the leg and worked on physical and emotional healing over the years that followed.
“The days after the shooting were a bit difficult for me, because I didn’t really know how to deal with what had happened. I was one of the people who got shot. But [Cielo] was there all the time. He hasn’t left me,” Lusmoeller said, praising Cielo’s unwavering support and desire to help.
“[Cielo] is a working dog. He is focused on his task when he is with me,” Lusmoeller said. Cielo is trained to sense a panic attack and press himself against his owner’s chest, make room for his owner in a crowded area, and can even lead his owner back to his vehicle.
“He gave me this reason to keep going and not just to survive, but to live again,” she said.
Cielo, who has an Instagram account, ran the 2018 Vegas Strong 5K Run with his owner. Lusmoeller is now returning to school to become a trauma survivor therapist.
Lusmoeller hopes to educate the public about proper interaction with trained assistance dogs. Although many people buy vests for their dogs, true trained service dogs go through years of instruction, perform specific tasks for their owner, and still work when out in public.
Lusmoeller encourages the public to give a working dog space to assist its owner, and while many people enjoy petting dogs, it is essential that the assistance dog focus on its role.
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