Newsplex - Heroes - Headlines

Jennifer's Heroes: Colonel Cousteau

By: Jennifer Black Email
By: Jennifer Black Email

January 21, 2010

Cousteau came to Service Dogs of Virginia for training from the SPCA. Now, the rescued dog - Colonel Cousteau - is returning the favor.

Colonel is the honorary status given to Cousteau, who works alongside Occupational Therapist Kelli Doolittle at the Lakeview Neurocare Center. Cousteau helps to create a bond between Doolittle and her clients, who are mainly soldiers returning from overseas with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or traumatic brain injuries.

"You look at them and they're fine, they look fine, they walk, they talk they drive; where they might have problems is keeping up with appointments and sequencing their day," said Doolittle.

As a result of a combat injury, Doolittle says some of her clients may get in the shower, but forget to wash. Cousteau helps teach Doolittle's patients how to create a routine.

"Teaching them how to sequence steps in an activity like dog training will tech them if they can generalize. That will teach them how to sequence their daily living," said Doolittle.

Doolittle says animals who know just how you're feeling are often just what the clients need.

"It goes right down the leash. If you're in a good mood, the dog's automatically in a good mood, if you're in a bad mood or you're anxious, the dog's going to say 'wait, why are you anxious?' " said Doolittle.

Colonel Cousteau has learned how to salute and how to low crawl, but more impressive is the calming effect he has on patients. If he could talk, Cousteau would say he is just fulfilling his duty as man's best friend, a heroic gesture that doesn't go unnoticed by those men and women who fight for our freedom.


The comments sections of Newsplex.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we only ask that you use your best judgment. E-mail is required, but will not be displayed with comment.

  • Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. We will not post comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.
  • We will not post comments that use hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our website.
  • Comments should not attack other readers or people featured in our stories personally. Any accusations should be backed up with facts.
  • Any comment we post will be posted in its entirety. We do not edit any comment that we post.
     
  • Comments should contribute to the discussion. We will not post comments that don't advance the discussion. Flaming and/or trolling will not be tolerated.
     
  • Comments should not attack other posters. Let's keep the focus on the content of the story.

    As a host Newsplex.com welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However this is a site that we host. We have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason The Newsplex reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.

    If you have any ideas to improve the conversation or this section let us know. Send an e-mail to webmaster@newsplex.com.

 

powered by Disqus
The Charlottesville Newsplex 999 2nd Street S.E. Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.242.1919 – Main 434.220.7522 - Newsroom
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 82290982