Finding an avenue to get auggiedog into the Wounded Warrior World


Maybe a little long, but there is a point at the end.

I was raised God, Country, Family and that is still my way today, and always will be till the day I check out..

There’s only one thing I love more than Pugs, and that’s my wife and Soldiers! While serving almost my whole entire adult life in the US Army, the Soldiers under my responsibility, those to my left and right, and especially those in the fox-holes next to me became my lifelong best brothers and sisters.

Many that I knew, and even more that I did not know, paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of both our countries. Even more in numbers than those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, are those who have come home from the wars, conflicts, battles, etc., who are now in some way mentally, physically, or spiritually broken, and they are now paying a very hefty price for that. Many have come home to no homes, to no families, many are now homeless, limbless, mangled, mentally broken, and most will never be the same again.

The aforementioned is sad, however, there is a bright side to this for many, and I am one who can attest to that. I am Wounded Warrior Project Alumni so I personally know what many of these Soldiers have gone through and what many continue to struggle with.

I am thankful for the minimal injuries, wounds, and scars, both mentally and physically, that I was able to come home with. I am further thankful that with the help of Walter Reed Medical Center, Veterans Agency, and other agencies, that I am now able to function and live a somewhat normal life. I am also thankful for “my personal Pugs” over the last many years. Quasi was our first Pug that we rescued when I redeployed from my first major conflict. Months after I redeployed I realized that Quasi was much more than just a dog, a pet, he was my friend, partner, and he was also very much my daily therapy.

While I was deployed to Iraq in 2003, Quasi, who was only a few years old, died in Dawn’s arms one morning from massive heart attack.. Never had my heart been broken more. First and foremost, it was both mine and Dawn’s first child, she was all alone when he passed, and being in Iraq in the middle of a mission there was nothing I could do, for days I wasn’t even able to make contact with Dawn which put me through another hell.

22 Months later I redeployed and I was lost. Yes, I was home, had my family around me, but I was hurting in a lot of ways. One day Dawn and I decided to look for another Pug. While driving in Tucson Arizona we found Konan Dakota Jaranowski. For the next 9+ years he became my world, my everything, my daily therapy+, which again helped me to not necessarily get past all that was going on with me, but to help me deal with it and function somewhat normally.

On a Friday evening in late September 2014, Konan started acting really funny. We made him an appointment with the Vet for that Monday, and it was at that time we found out he had cancer and wouldn’t make it a few more months. I cannot explain in words where that put me and the thoughts that ran through my mind. After we left the Vet we immediately made an appointment with a Vet that specializes in cancer for pets. I was willing to pay or give anything to save him, anything! We got an appointment for the following Monday so we felt like we had a little light at the end of the tunnel that maybe we could hang on to my best buddy for a while longer. On that Wednesday, Konan died in his sleep. Still today a big piece of my heart and soul is gone and it seems like the rest of my heart and soul is just lost.

In October 2014, Dawn said to me “I know it’s a little early, but why don’t we look around at getting you another best friend and someone that can help you through things”. Initially, it was NO! As I knew I had nothing to give to another and I could not go through loosing another person or thing in my life. Then some weeks later Dawn showed me a picture of a pug puppy and said let’s just go look at him. Honestly, I needed that little guy more than he or anyone else would ever know, so we put a deposit down on him as he was to young to leave his mother at that time. Every day the lady who was selling us Tonka, Tonka is the name Dawn and I gave him the day we saw him, would send us pictures of him along with his brothers and sisters and how he was growing daily.

Then the lady who breed Tonka called and told us we could get him in 10 days. Dawn and I were like a couple expecting their first child. Even though we had the other kids (pugs) here, this was different. Tonka was mine, he was going to be my boy, my new best friend, my therapy, my reason for getting up in the morning, and more or less my reason for living. Out the door we went looking for new doggie bed, bones, leashes, bowls, food, toys, etc., even though we already had plenty of that stuff here.

As the days neared for us to receive Tonka, every day and night I would scour the internet looking for more stuff for Tonka! One night I came across the Auggiedog and it seemed like another of my prayers had been answered.

So here we are today. My boy Tonka is now 3+ months old and growing like a weed and pooping like a big dog. After the loss of Konan I was living, but not alive. However, thanks to my wonderful and understanding wife, a very special family of kids (pugs), and now a new best friend, I’m back getting my therapy and I feel alive once again..

The reason I share the above with you is because there are not only hundreds, not only thousands, but tens of thousands of Soldiers across the US and Canada who need the same therapy I need, and there are now many programs and agencies to help provide that.

However, ready for this What many of our vets don’t have is an Auggiedog to help them It must be hard to pick up poop in a wheel chair. Pick up poop with one arm, maybe no hand. Many Soldiers like myself who were hit with IEDs, mines, explosions, or even GSW (gunshot wounds) can no longer bend over to tie their shoes let alone pick up poop.

Coming from 30 years in the military and knowing Soldiers like I do, knowing equipment like I do, I wholeheartedly and without reservation feel Auggiedog could be a big multiplier for those wounded and injured who not only have trained Therapy dogs, but also for those like me who have found their own way of getting therapy through a little fuzzy friend.

Bottom line - I highly recommend we look at finding an avenue to get Auggiedog into the Wounded Warrior World.

Below are some links and articles for you to read. Please let me know.

James J Jaranowski


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