War can take its toll on people, and after serving the U.S. Army for six years, it was taking its toll on Austin Lemieux. After serving in some of the most isolated and chaotic places in Iraq and Afghanistan, Austin was trying to adjust to civilian life while dealing with issues like PTSD, depression, and anxiety – all mental and emotional scars from his time protecting our country.
When Austin reached out to the Georgia chapter of Pets for Vets, he was looking for a loyal dog that would complement his hectic life and be a great addition to his family.
Our trainer, Mark, found a German Shepard at the animal shelter that had been found with no ID. When Mark asked Austin what he wanted to call the dog, Austin decided on the name Leonidas, which means “strong like a lion.”
Throughout training, not only did Leonidas prove to be just that, but also a very loyal and sociable dog who found new joy in playing fetch.
Since their meeting in April 2014, Austin and Leonidas have become inseparable and can be found playing Frisbee or enjoying a morning run together. Austin has been able to enjoy life with his family more and more since Leonidas came into the picture and he recently was able to purchase a new home!