“These dogs have changed my life” – Pindimar local training pack of Assistance Dogs to benefit his community Highlight Section Myall Coast Myall Coast News by News Of The Area - Modern Media - April 20, 2021 Shane Griffis with his Border Collies Pepper, Salt, Bill and Brooke. BATTLING with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after 10 years of military service and the loss of his 15 year old son through suicide, Shane Griffis turned to his dogs for support. Realising the benefits of interaction with dogs on his mood, Shane began training one of his four Border Collies, Pepper, as his personal Assistance Dog. “I suffer with PTSD fairly badly and I lost a son to suicide at 15, and the dogs are just there for me,” he said. Advertise with News of The Area today. It’s worth it for your business. Message us. Phone us – (02) 4981 8882. Email us – [email protected] “Those dogs have changed my life. “If you wake up in a bad mood, the dogs will jump on you and lick you and make you laugh. “They put you in a good mindset. “They walk with you, they are there for you,” Shane said. After seeing the benefits firsthand, Shane is now putting all four Collies through training to become certified Assistance Dogs. “We have to put them through a training course. “I have a lady who trains me to train the dogs. “Once she feels they are ready, a trainer comes in to put the dogs through their paces. “They have to achieve the requirements, and then can become fully fledged assistance dogs.” Shane says the benefits are endless. “They are incredible, especially for those suffering from PTSD. “If I was to have a fall or a heart attack, they would know to go and alert somebody. “But mostly it is about companionship, it is truly amazing for mental health.” Now, with four of the cutest dogs on the Myall Coast in tow, Shane is bringing joy to local veterans and the aged-care community. Shane’s pack of Border Collies – Pepper, Salt, Bill and Brooke – have been delighting seniors in recent weeks, with their visits to retirement communities. “I take the dogs down to see the older veterans and others at Peter Sinclair Gardens. “I am going through the process of doing it at Estia health as well. “It is very well received,” he said. “Taking the dogs to see the oldies, and seeing the joy on everyone’s faces when they see the dogs is worth a million dollars.” By Doug CONNOR Shane and Pepper. Shane and Pepper at Peter Sinclair Gardens.