Meet Bert Snuggs, Finalist For An Award For Being A Top-Notch Carer
I am Kerry Snuggs, I am 42 years old. I was a Police Officer for 21 years. 4 years as a Special Constable and 17 as a regular Police constable. My dog Bert Snuggs is a finalist in the Naturo SuperDog Awards for being a top-notch carer dog. This is our story.
I was on duty when I saved a mans life however, this was the end of my career. It put me in a wheelchair and I had to have extensive surgery and physiotherapy to enable me to walk again. Unfortunately, over a period of time, my mental health deteriorated too.
The vulnerability I felt led me into a dark place and I became suicidal. In 2019 I nearly took my life and realised that I needed help. I was subsequently diagnosed with Extreme (C) PTSD and was unable to continue as a Police Officer. I am mum to two very young children, they needed me.
It felt as if the force wasn't able to give me any support. So, I turned to Service Dogs UK. I was sceptical that a dog could save my life, or indeed even help me. However, the moment I met Bert he looked deep down into my soul and he knew. He knew I was broken.
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I cried the moment I got home from Service dogs. Despite the fact I'd worked with other dogs, it was Bert who had reached into me and pulled me out of the darkest place I have ever been. I wanted to continue to work with him, and we bonded. I missed him when I wasn’t with him and I knew he felt the same. The connection we have is like no other.
We were proud to partner and even prouder to pass our accreditation. Working hard together on the Service Dogs programme, but enjoying the time we spent together. He got me out of the house. I had isolated myself for over a year, away from friends and family. Too scared to leave the house. Unfortunately with PTSD you over catastrophise every scenario you live. It is tiring, but Bert has given me a new lease of life again.
I am forever indebted to Bert. He is my rock, my best pal and my wing dog. He has enabled me to continue the volunteer work that I do, and more importantly, brought me back to my family. He is the firm foundation in our family unit. So much so that Bert enabled me to receive a BEM from the Queen. I attribute this honour to him.
Service Dogs is an incredible charity, saving those that are truly broken, and slowly piecing them back together with the love of a dog. There is no love like it.
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