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Rescued Pit Bull Mix And Veteran Change Each Other’s Lives

by Anna Halkidis
Anna is a native New Yorker who loves concerts, travel, good coffee, and her Jack Russell terrier, Charlie. She’s a multimedia journalist who earned her master’s degree from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Her true passion for telling stories keeps her inspired.

When Chad Fleming adopted Mikko from Ruff Start Rescue in Minnesota, he quickly helped the pooch get over his deep fear of people.

It didn’t even take a week for the two to become close. Mikko, he said, even wants to be next to Fleming at all times.

“You’ve got to put time into them and that’s what I was willing to do,” Fleming told CBS Minnesota. “He knows it and he’s been a big teddy bear ever since.”

But, it wasn’t only Mikko who was saved that day. The 2-year-old pit bull/bulldog mix is offering great support as the veteran deals with the emotional wounds he received after completing two tours in Iraq.

“I have a lot of PTSD and anxiety and dealing with that stuff has just been very hard,” Fleming said.

Much like the Navy veteran whose dog pulled him out of a dark time, Fleming explained that his four-legged friend is already making a difference in his life.

Fleming also aims to have Mikko trained to act like a service dog. Trained service dogs are known to make an even greater difference in their handler’s lives, just like the one who can detect the moment his human gets upset.

“Getting a dog absolutely helps,” he said. “It takes a lot of anxiety away.”

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