It all began with potential. The Natchitoches Humane Society saw potential in the dogs it cares for and began a partnership with Healing4Heroes to identify good candidates for the program. Healing4Heroes is a non-profit organization that connects wounded service members and veterans with certified service dogs.
Scott Stetson was asked to take a look at an adoptable dog, Augustus “Gus” the Great and see what the NHS could do. According to Stetson, Juanita Murphy moved mountains (ok, ok, dogs) to make room to get him in. A friend of the NHS sponsored Gus in honor of her father, who was a WWII veteran.
They thought Gus would go to Healing4Heroes a couple months ago but things didn’t quite align. Gus remained at Happy Tails, and an inmate with the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center worked with him quite a bit.
Gus was finally placed in the program in August. He was still in some culture shock when he first arrived in Georgia, where the program is based. Gus quickly adjusted and has graduated with honors. He is the first partnership success story between Happy Tails/H4H.
Stetson, who served 23 years in the Army, was exposed to military working dogs and developed a knack for assessing whether a dog will be successful with the special training the program requires.
“I could not be happier to have been a small part of all this,” he said. “I look forward to many, many more.”