Rescue of veteran and dog

Group trains shelter animals to be therapists

Posted: July 4, 2014 at 2:39 a.m.

Rocky, a Labrador retriever, enjoys a day at the park Wednesday with James Blanford of Searcy. The dog is trained to help Blanford cope with post-traumatic stress disorder.

When James Blanford hooks a leash to his dog's collar, he's not just preparing for a walk. The 35-year-old former Army sergeant is fighting back against a diagnosis that ended his career and changed his life.

“He makes me get up. I have to take him out and do things. He reminds me I have responsibilities.”

James Blanford of Searcy, a former Army sergeant, on his dog, Rocky

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