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Mayhems’ Story

While on terminal leave, prior to my retirement from the United States Marine Corps, I purchased a Dogo Argentino puppy whom I named Mayhem. Mayhem and I moved into our new home in Centreville MD. This was a huge change from living at Walter Reed in fully wheelchair accessible barracks with a 24/7 caregiver. I struggled adjusting to my new life outside the Corps, and having to go back to work full-time, added to the stress and difficulty. I was having severe pain episodes that put me in the hospital at least once a month, and often kept me up till the early hours of the morning. Mayhem was the only saving grace in my life at that time. I was an hour from my family, I had no friends yet and was dealing with a major life altering disability. My depression became so severe that I suffered suicidal ideations daily, but I held on because my little puppy Mayhem needed me. I had not yet realized how much I needed him.

I began training him to be my service dog, and by the age of 8 months he was going to work with me a few times a week. By 1 years old, he was consistently assisting me with retrieval tasks. He came with me to the emergency room when I had my pain episodes. We were there so often that the staff would bring in an extra bed so we had more room. One night, the glass shower door shattered while I was showering, and I had to get out over all this glass. I decided to train him to locate my cell phone so that I could call for help if something like that happened again.

Mayhem went everywhere with me. People began to ask who trained my dog. I would say I did , so they asked if I could help them. I started by helping a few friends with basic training, and I began taking online courses to learn more about training. I was then afforded an opportunity to apprentice under a 30+ year service dog trainer named Jim Mathys. From there I founded my dog training business – Mayhem’s K9 Corps Training Services, LLC. Mayhem was the reason I found my purpose and drive after my life changing injuries and disability. He is the reason and driving force behind my desire to help others like myself get a service dog, because if not for him, I would not be here today. He needed me – but in reality – I needed him.