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  • This Great Big Story was made possible by Wells Fargo.

  • Established 1852. Re-Established 2018.

  • (wolves howling)

  • There's something about being part of nature. There's something about being around these animals.

  • To even the most wounded veteran, they feel different, keeps them part of something greater than themselves.

  • (wolves howling)

  • The idea is that you've gotta give someone who's been through a severe trauma, an opportunity to heal,

  • and we believe that Warriors and Wolves program in a back to nature setting, it does that.

  • We have 40 animals at this facility.

  • There you go, you got it.

  • You'll get that.

  • [Matthew] We've rescued wolves off of chains in Alaska as part of a roadside attraction.

  • We rescued wolf dogs from a backyard breeder in San Diego.

  • I think for all the veterans that we bring out here, whether they work here or they're here for a support group, what rings true is if they can heal, I can heal.

  • The wolves, they notice you're injured, or something's wrong with you, and they have that trauma.

  • So, you know, we had some type of trauma in life, we kinda get that connection and one wolf will be your friend for life.

  • [Matthew] What happens is one animal picks that one veteran, never again does that animal pick someone else, never again does that animal want to show the same kind of affection to someone else.

  • What a good boy!

  • Conventional therapy isn't really something for me. It didn't help to be honest.

  • After 10 years of military life, it was sort of a tough transition.

  • I like continued down my course of being angry, drinking myself to death, (which) may have been the last chapter of my life.

  • There are things I've seen that I can't unsee.

  • There are things I've done that I cannot undo.

  • Just saying that, well I did it in the name of my country, doesn't help you sleep at night.

  • But what does help you sleep is having a companion.

  • They kinda teach you how to be calm and confident.

  • It's got some deeper meaning when they accept you.

  • They accept you into the family, part of the pack.

This Great Big Story was made possible by Wells Fargo.

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B1 US GreatBigStory trauma heal howling rescued life

Living With Wolves Saved My Life

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    Evangeline posted on 2021/03/02
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