Matthew, a US Army Veteran from Colorado, enjoys traveling, hunting, martial arts and other sporting events. Matthew and his wife Tracy were married just six weeks when Matthew sustained severe combat injuries in Iraq, rendering him quadriplegic with only the use of his left arm. During his hospital stay he heard about Canine Companions and decided to apply for a service dog.
During an intense two-week training program at Canine Companions, Matthew was matched with Gus III, a handsome yellow Labrador/Golden Retriever cross trained to respond to approximately 50 commands.
Matthew said, "My biggest struggle has been needing someone else to do things for me. I fell in love with Gus the first night he came home with us. No more do I have to depend on others all the time — and that means a lot!" There were only a couple of things Matthew could do by himself since the injury but now he said, "Gus allows me to be so much more independent. It's easier to get around and having a buddy by my side to do things with has changed our lives."
Stefan & Knoxville
Stefan, Afghanistan War Veteran & Service Dog, Knoxville