Rescued Pit Bull Helps Purple Heart Recipient Live Better Life | Pit Bull Press | Positive Pit Bull News
Published On: Mon, Mar 18th, 2019

Rescued Pit Bull Helps Purple Heart Recipient Live Better Life

INDEPENDENCE, Kentucky — Echo is a 2-year-old pit bull with a lot of charm.

“She has a personality like no other dog I’ve ever had,” said Samuel Deeds. “She’s kinda goofy sometimes, she gets kinda needy, but when it’s time to work, it’s time to work.”

Where you find Echo, you’ll find Samuel Deeds. She walks next to him every moment since they met last year.

“I came around the corner, and there she was in her vest, and she was doing a little bit of work, and right away, I think it was an instant match for both of us. And now, she doesn’t want to leave my side, so it was pretty amazing,” said Marine veteran Samuel Deeds.

Deeds served in Iraq when one day, his fellow brothers were in trouble.

“I went back to warn two of my Marines of a possible improvised explosive device, and as soon as they cleared the area, the device was detonated,” said Deeds.

In 63 days, he was badly injured by two explosions.

“Shrapnel to my left forearm, shrapnel to my right hand and shrapnel to my head,” Deeds said.

His list of injuries seems never-ending.

“The doctor there basically filleted me open and found out that all my organs were gelled together, and they had to separate everything,” Deeds said.

After 42 surgeries, this humble hero’s main concerns are his wife and sons, who never left his side.

“They’ve spent more time in the hospital than most adults throughout their entire life,” said Deeds.

But the recovery process has been difficult.

He and his wife heard of Rescued and Ready: Operation Walking with Warriors, a new organization in Northern Kentucky that pairs injured veterans with shelter dogs.

Echo and Deeds were a perfect match.

Deeds has trouble getting up, but Echo serves as a steady assistant. He has panic attacks she can sense, and when she detects one, she goes up to love on him.

Echo’s job doesn’t stop when Deeds leaves the home. In fact, it’s almost more important for this Purple Heart recipient to have a dog who can help him through public spaces.

“She noticed that and she noticed my anxiety levels going up, and she would pull me away from larger groups of people and crowds,” said Deeds.

Her trainer, Corrine Hearst, noticed something deeper was going on. Echo wasn’t just obeying, she was intuiting exactly what Deeds needed.

“She was doing tasks we hadn’t even trained her to, so she had kinda acclimated herself enough to Sam where she knew what he needed better than I think he did,” said Hearst, program manager for Rescued and Ready.

Life can be difficult when you feel misunderstood. A veteran like Deeds understands that. More of his fellow servicemen and women die in our own country than overseas. But for loyal Echo, life also wasn’t a guarantee, being a pit bull abandoned at a shelter.

“We are these two populations that are both kind of misunderstood or portrayed in different ways in the media that might not be accurate. What if these populations could help one another?” said Mandy Franceschina, founder and director of Rescued and Ready.

For Deeds, that’s what they did. Echo’s year and a half of training is complete, and they are now together 24/7. He can finally be the father he wants to be to his sons.

“My boys will be able to have somewhat of a normal life and go to the aquarium and ballparks and stuff, but it’s going to be a huge help for me and my family,” said Deeds.

Deeds’ family is a little bit bigger, and the two can now spend their lives together, helping each other feel understood.


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