Dogs are extremely sensitive to human emotions and sometimes, they could even detect human body chemistry that is out of the norm. There are very few dogs who can do so with amazing accuracy, that they are required to work as medical detection dogs. These dogs are rare, and studies are currently being conducted to unlock this unusual talent among normal dogs.
But there are dogs who are even rarer than your average medical detection dogs, and these are dogs who can sniff out unusual levels of stress, anxiety, irritability, and even depression. Out of the entire dog population in the US, only about 30 dogs were discovered to have this ability, and one of these dogs is Brad.
Golden Retriever/ Yellow Labrador Mix Brad is currently stationed in a clinic in Maryland’s Joint Base Andrews. There, he helps his handler, Chief Bobby Long, in assessing patients for telltale signs of depression, anxiety or abnormally high levels of stress. To do this, Chief Brad simply sniffs a patient and sits by the side of the patient if he suspects anything unusual. In a good day, Chief Brad provides emotional support to military men and women all over the base, providing “house calls”, if needed.
Now that there’s a rise in suicide cases among the military, with about 130 cases in the first few months of 2017 alone according to the Department of Defense, dogs with unusual innate abilities like Chief Brad are in demand. Both Chief Brad and Chief Long are set to retire this year, but the duo is looking forward to providing similar services to other military bases and with the Department of State. Although Brad is a rare find, everybody in the Naval Base still hopes for more dogs like him to join the Navy and the Army.
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