When retired Army Staff Sgt. Brian K. Pearce awoke from a two-month coma, it had left him with a very narrow field of vision, short-term memory loss, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The last thing he knew was his Humvee jerking violently, the smell of explosives, and a shrapnel from a roadside bomb that shot through his skull. A 3-year old black Labrador Retriever by the name of Gunner helps the veteran feel “human again.”
The dog was provided to the veteran by the non-profit organization Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind in early 2013. The black Labrador Retriever helps his owner avoid obstacles while walking, awaken him from nightmares, and guide him outside a crowded place when he is experiencing flashbacks from his days in active duty.
The retired Army Staff Sergeant said that the road to recovery is still filled with “dark days” but teaming with Gunner has aided him in regaining independence.