wounded st louis veteran receives service puppyWhen he entered Helen Fitzgeralds Grill and Pub, Marine Cpl. Justin McLoud had no idea that he would be going home with a new friend and companion that day. A wounded veteran of Afghanistan, McLoud had only dreamed of the possibility of a service dog. However, when activists Sue McNamara and Nick Hall learned more about McLoud and the sacrifice he made for the country, they knew they could not let him go home empty handed.

As McLoud prepared to drive home, they introduced him to his new companion: a seven-week-old black labrador puppy.

Over the last four years, the idea of even holding a puppy was difficult for Cpl. McLoud to fathom. In late 2010, he was deployed on one of the most dangerous missions in Afghanistan.

In December of 2010, while navigating a series of dirt roads, McLoud and his company were crossing a bridge when one soldier stepped on a hidden IED resulting in an explosion that ripped through the group of men. McLoud’s injuries as a result of the blast would force medical crews at Camp Leatherneck to amputate both of his legs and his left arm.

After coming home to a hero’s welcome in St. Louis, McLoud had to get down to the business of living with a new set of challenges. A set of challenges that might be made slightly more bearable with a service dog.

Local Strangers Step Up to Make Man’s Dream Come True

Sue McNamara heard about Cpl. McLoud’s wish for a service dog through the Joshua Chamberlain Society, a St. Louis-based charity devoted to providing long-term support to veterans. Being an amateur dog trainer with strong familial ties to army service, McNamara knew she wanted to make good on this particular request.

“These young men and women give so much and to be able to give something back to them,” McNamara told KSDK News. “It’s an amazing feeling.”

McNamara partnered with Nick Hall of Hall Kennels, who specializes in training service and personal protection dogs and could not wait to get started on the project.

“I wanted to help so bad as soon as I heard about this,” Hall told KSDK News

The moment McLoud was introduced to his new furry friend was touching to say the least. He had few words but his ear-to-ear grin said it all as he contemplated the squirmy little guy in his arms.

“There are people out there that are willing to help people in my condition,” McLoud said to KSDK News. “It’s amazing. It’s a very good feeling and stuff too that people actually care.”

In about one year, Cpl. McLoud’s puppy will be a fully trained service dog. During that time the puppy, who is yet un-named, will train six days a week with McLoud and will work on establishing a loving and lasting partnership.

For assistance with dog training in St. Louis, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re a local company that offers daycare, boarding, and canine training programs for pet owners in the St. Louis and St. Charles areas.

When he entered Helen Fitzgeralds Grill and Pub, Marine Cpl. Justin McLoud had no idea that he would be going home with a new friend and companion that day. A wounded veteran of Afghanistan, McLoud had only dreamed of the possibility of a service dog. However, when activists Sue McNamara and Nick Hall learned more about McLoud and the sacrifice he made for the country, they knew they could not let him go home empty handed.

As McLoud prepared to drive home, they introduced him to his new companion: a seven-week-old black labrador puppy.

Over the last four years, the idea of even holding a puppy was difficult for Cpl. McLoud to fathom. In late 2010, he was deployed on one of the most dangerous missions in Afghanistan.

In December of 2010, while navigating a series of dirt roads, McLoud and his company were crossing a bridge when one soldier stepped on a hidden IED resulting in an explosion that ripped through the group of men. McLoud’s injuries as a result of the blast would force medical crews at Camp Leatherneck to amputate both of his legs and his left arm.

After coming home to a hero’s welcome in St. Louis, McLoud had to get down to the business of living with a new set of challenges. A set of challenges that might be made slightly more bearable with a service dog.

Local Strangers Step Up to Make Man’s Dream Come True

Sue McNamara heard about Cpl. McLoud’s wish for a service dog through the Joshua Chamberlain Society, a St. Louis-based charity devoted to providing long-term support to veterans. Being an amateur dog trainer with strong familial ties to army service, McNamara knew she wanted to make good on this particular request.

“These young men and women give so much and to be able to give something back to them,” McNamara told KSDK News. “It’s an amazing feeling.”

McNamara partnered with Nick Hall of Hall Kennels, who specializes in training service and personal protection dogs and could not wait to get started on the project.

“I wanted to help so bad as soon as I heard about this,” Hall told KSDK News.

The moment McLoud was introduced to his new furry friend was touching to say the least. He had few words but his ear-to-ear grin said it all as he contemplated the squirmy little guy in his arms.

“There are people out there that are willing to help people in my condition,” McLoud said to KSDK News. “It’s amazing. It’s a very good feeling and stuff too that people actually care.”

In about one year, Cpl. McLoud’s puppy will be a fully trained service dog. During that time the puppy, who is yet un-named, will train six days a week with McLoud and will work on establishing a loving and lasting partnership.

For assistance with dog training in St. Louis, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re a local company that offers daycare, boarding, and canine training programs for pet owners in the St. Louis and St. Charles areas.