Based on figures from the Department of Defense, there was been a steady rise in the deaths of military service members from suicide. In fact, in the first six months of last year, at least 130 of service members who were active at the time passed away from suicide.
In order to help combat these figures and reduce the risks of suicide, this military clinic, located in Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, has found a rather unique and adorable solution in the form of a very lovely dog named Senior Chief Brad.
The yellow Labrador and golden retriever mix is a therapy pup that hangs out in the clinic’s waiting room. He looks for service members awaiting their appointments and finds those who seem to be sad or suffering, usually displaying signs of stress, depression, or distress. When he locates one, he immediately goes to tell Chief Bobby Long, who is his handler. Long will then go to speak to that person to counsel them.
Brad and Long have been working together for more than two years. They take trips to different medical facilities and even go to the homes of those suffering to give them emotional support. Brad lets them pet him and offers them comfort in their time of need.
Science suggests that pups have the innate ability to detect stress pheromones, while other research suggests they can take note of body language. That might be why Brad is so good at what he does!
Feature Image Source: Prayers for Pets1 NonProfit