Denison veteran living with PTSD suffers setback - - No One Gets You Closer

Denison veteran living with PTSD suffers setback


DENISON -- Dogs are becoming a common form of therapy for veterans living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Harvey Orr lives in Denison and suffers from severe PTSD.

He was a door gunner during the Vietnam War and flew in helicopters to the front lines to rescue injured soldiers.

"I'm still going through the suffering of the killing and going and picking the guys up in the field," Orr said.

At the advice of his therapist, he recently purchased a therapy dog, a blue heeler named Sadie, to help with his PTSD.

"It seemed like it was a connection, just like that," he said.

KTEN first introduced you to the pair around July 4, a day Orr says is especially difficult because the sounds of fireworks trigger his flashbacks.

He says, having Sadie by his side helped.

"She's come lay on my lap and I'd kind of talk to her," Orr said.

But Friday afternoon, Orr says Sadie unexpectedly died. Orr believes she was attacked by another animal in his neighborhood.

"It's really heartbreaking when you have something like that that's so close to you and then it just dies," Orr said.

Terry Madsen is a psychological counselor in Denison.

He uses his dog during sessions because he says pets have proven clinical benefits.

"There's lots of research that says that heart rates go down, blood pressure goes down, stress hormone levels drop, it's all there in the literature," Madsen said.

Les Castro runs a non-profit organization called Faithful Friend Ministry and the Grayson County K9 Program that matches trained service dogs with veterans.

Orr says he plans to apply to the program and hopes to have another dog by his side a soon.

"It's hard for me to accept that she's gone," Orr said.