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What You Need to Know - Brain Injury Awareness Month

What You Need to Know - Brain Injury Awareness Month

In recognition of Brain Injury Awareness Month, we’re sharing this moving story from our HuggleCause™ partner Warrior Canine Connection (WCC).

SGT Maja Reuss is an Army Veteran with PTSD who found help at WCC. Maja was matched with a WCC Service Dog - WCC's Buff - and their pairing has been absolutely life changing. The therapeutic help Service Dogs are capable of providing is incredible, especially for individuals with brain injuries. Maja has been able to see the effects first hand, and with the help of WCC's Buff, Maya feels more confident going outside of her comfort zone, and doing many things she struggled with before. "I find myself going to stores just because I want to take WCC's Buff and have her share the experience, and it's something I wouldn't have done before." 


Part of that confidence comes from her deep trust in WCC's Buff's ability to recognize when she becomes stressed. "She makes me a lot more aware of my limitations if something becomes too stressful, so I know I can do it. She also knows when I have to leave, go home, or take a break. It's the energy she has that externalizes some of the feelings I'm going through in the moment." WCC's Buff also helps Maya feel less pressure when socializing in public. "People pay attention to her first. And with everyone standing in a circle looking at the dog, it takes the pressure off me". WCC's Buff was named in honor of United States Air Force Colonel Laurel “Buff” Burkel, and the name "Buff" is fitting in another way. "Jokingly, I always call her my buffer. She creates this buffer zone between me and the world, and with people paying more attention to her, I pay more attention to her in turn as well. The whole world revolves around her at that point."

The story of Maja and WCC's Buff is one of many that highlight the help Service Dogs can provide to people with brain injuries. You can learn more about Brain Injury Awareness Month here: https://www.health.mil/News/In-the-Spotlight/Be-a-Brain-Warrior"


“Our Service dogs have an important mission—to carry on the legacies of these heroes while helping recovering Veterans who have sacrificed so much for our nation,” says Rick Yount, founder and executive director, Warrior Canine Connection. “We feel it’s important that those Veterans have their stories told and their lives honored through our namesake program. We believe when a Veteran’s name is spoken, they are always remembered.”



Help support Warrior Canine Connection and their life-changing work through our HuggleCause program. Consider a purchase of a Limited-Edition Luke or Tommy II Knottie®. A portion of all proceeds will be directed to Warrior Canine Connection.


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