Due to some personal time constraints (and the flooding of the Fox River) plans were put on hold for our Warrior Dog 5K Run and Doggie Trot.
However, I am thinking hard about what I can do in the later part of the summer and when I have a plan, I'll post it here.
Keep thinking of our MWD's and their handlers who are still fighting around the world and helping keep our troops safe.  They are all tireless heroes. 
My passion for warrior dogs (Military Working Dogs) was ignited by one simple picture... that of a dog jumping out of an airplane with his handler!  Well, when I saw that very picture, I was hooked, and I needed to know more. 

Here's what I learned about these four-legged warriors:

     - they save 3-5 of our troops lives each day.
     - that they have an 85% success rate in finding bombs and
           thus saving troops lives.
     - that they need special gear such as cooling vests, doggles,
            booties, etc., that is NOT supplied by the government.
     - that sometimes after they retire they are euthanized because
            they are deemed "non-adoptable" due to agression or
            PTSD? (Doesn't that just break your heart?)

  Recently, as  my friend and I talked it got me to thinking so I asked myself:

- What price would you put on a soldier's life?
- How much would it be worth to you to actually help protect or save
        just one soldier, or one of these incredible dogs who save
        countless troops lives?
- Do you believe that just one person CAN make a difference?

I do....and that's why I've created THE WARRIOR DOG PROJECT.

First, part of the money donated will be used to buy kits through SUPPORT MILITARY WORKING DOGS.  The kits include: Chilly Vests to keep the dogs cool in the sweltering heat, Mutt Luks (booties) to protect their paws from the searing sand and asphalt, Mutt Muffs (ear protection) while they're in airplanes or helicopters,  so when they reach the ground, they're ready to work, and lastly Doggles (goggles) to keep the sand from irritating their eyes.   All of this equipment helps the dogs work at optimum level which, in turn, saves troops lives. 

Secondly, when dogs return or retire they are given tests to determine their adoptability.  Sadly, some are deemed "non-adoptable" which means they are not suitable to live with families.  If a suitable placement can't be found, they will be euthanized!  But, Danny Scheurer, an Iraq War Veteran, has created a phenomenal program to save these "disposable" heroes.    At  SAV-A-VET he acquires these non-adoptable dogs and pairs them with a disabled veteran, who receives a place to live in exchange for caring for these four-legged heroes.

Your generous donations will help Danny (SAV-A-VET) build their first actual facility.  Right now the vets & dogs are housed in rental homes. 

With your help, we can accomplish great things!   The Warrior Dog Project will be a series of fundraisers over a period of two weeks.  It will encompass schools, businesses, clubs and and individuals bringing awareness and participation in this great cause. 

I once read that unless you give "until it hurts", then you haven't given.  I had to really think about that and, to be honest,  it made me a bit uncomfortable, but it made sense.  When we give to the point of it hurting, to where we really have to sit down and think about it....not just pull out the checkbook and write a check knowing nothing was given up, then it's truly a sacrifice and a gift.  Each of us can make a difference. 

These dogs and men have sacrificed so much for us.  Isn't our turn to sacrifice for them?    I hope you'll say yes.

Warmest regards,
Pat Gavros
Creator of The Warrior Dog Project