Scott Dewey, owner and operator of Retrieving Freedom, Inc. (RFI) in Waverly, Iowa, has consistently dedicated his life to working with dogs. Previous to his new field of work, Scott owned Rock River Retrievers, a field trial training kennel that produced dozens of champion dogs. Now, Scott has made the decision to direct his talents toward the service industry by training dogs with special purposes for returning disabled veterans and autistic children.
Retrieving Freedom, Inc. breeds and trains chosen dogs with the specific traits needed in order to serve veterans and autistic children. Special schedules are created for each dog throughout the twenty-four months needed for training to meet the standards that RFI sets for a successful placement. Specifically, RFI makes it known that they are not a “one dog for all” type of organization. The service dogs are tailored to meet the precise needs of the individual with whom they will be placed.
When specifically dealing with veterans, the service dogs are tailored to assist with disabilities and/or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Examples of service abilities the dogs possess are orientation to any prosthetic limbs that will need to be retrieved, the ability to brace and support the weight of their veteran, training on pulling and stopping wheelchairs, reduction to heeling speed to one step at a time, specific everyday tasks like opening and closing doors, and so much more. Soldiers suffering with PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they are no longer in danger, and that is where the service dogs come into action to provide love, comfort, and support. RFI specifically trains their dogs to be the hands, legs, and friends of these veterans, providing companionship while coping with an emotional overload.
Nationally, the service dog industry is unique in that the need for these dogs out paces the supply available. Locally, Scott Dewey and RFI are working hard in an area that has an even higher demand for dogs and a lower supply than the national statistics, making his job a tough one. However, these statistics do not hold him back from doing amazing things and providing special friends to those in need, and that is why Scott Dewey is a Daily Point of Light.
Inspired this 4th of July week by Scott’s story? Learn about how you can personally help Retrieving Freedom, Inc. and veterans around the country. Read more here http://retrievingfreedom.org/how-to-help/ and support our heroes!