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Military Heroes Month: Ready, the Service Dog Helps Heroes

Explorer C
My name is Ready. One day I’m going to be a Service Dog. I didn’t know what a Service Dog was, until I came to This Able Veteran (TAV) where I learned that Service Dogs are a big help to Veterans. How lucky can a pup get to be one of these Warriors’ best friends?
Tank & TAV
I was born near Dallas, TX at a swell place called Brooks Labradors, LLC. One day, when I was about eight weeks old, my breeder, Mr. Brent Brooks, told me about TAV. He said that injured Veterans—guys just like him—needed dogs like me who could make a big difference in the lives of these amazing people. Mr. Brent told me to be patient, (which is really hard for a pup like me), and I would learn everything I needed to know from my new family of trainers.

One day, we got up really early—even earlier than when I normally wake them up—to take my first ever airplane ride from Dallas, TX, to Marion, IL, on SOUTHWEST AIRLINES! All of the people on the plane loved me, AND I even got to meet the Pilot in the cockpit of the plane.

SWA Tank

The day I arrived at TAV, Mr. Brooks brought me into a large room full of hundreds of people. I was told it was "Graduation." From his arms, I saw a group of several men sitting in a row, and I could tell they were special.  During this Graduation, these men –all Veterans—were paired with their very own Service Dogs! Well, towards the end, I got to go up on stage, and I was raised into the air, and they said that I was the future of TAV!

TAV Graduation

The trainers at TAV have become my new family, and they are SO nice to me. I also have dog friends who are training to be Service Dogs—some of them know more than I do right now, but they always help me with my work.  The trainers understand me - it makes sense to me the way they teach me new things, and they have taught me to pay close attention to them. Apparently, this is going to be a very important skill for me to have when I get my Veteran because I’m learning that these Heroes’ faces tell me a lot about how they’re feeling. They need me, and I’m understanding how to help them learn to come back home. I think this must be the best dog-job ever!  Thank you to Southwest Airlines for helping me get to where I’m supposed to be!

Patriotism runs deep at Southwest Airlines, and we are proud of all those who serve, especially the nearly 5,800 Active Duty, Reservists, and Veterans who are part of the Southwest Family.  In celebration of Military Heroes Month in November, you’ll hear about and read blogs about service, how we honor the military, the sacrifice these heroes make, and how we celebrate the brave who fight for our Freedoms. Who’s your hero?  How do you appreciate the military?  Share your story by commenting below.