Meet Blue, the service dog offering unconditional love and support to his veteran father

When David Broido first left the military, he had no intention of adopting a assistance dog– he just wanted a pet. So, he adopted a pit bull named Bones to be his companion.

However, a few years after his service ended, Broido’s post-traumatic stress disorder worsened. Broido tells Daily Paws that he has nightmares, panic attacks, and disassociates himself in public. At this point, Broido decided it was time to give Bones training to transform from a pet to a service dog.

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Bones followed his training well and exceeded expectations as Broido’s service dog. But unfortunately the puppy was diagnosed with Cancer. After a 9-month battle, Bones passed away in 2018.

“There was a period there where I was like, ‘I’m absolutely not ready to have another dog,’” Broido told Daily Paws.

But one day Broido says he woke up and was ready to have another service dog. He tells Daily Paws that he didn’t want to adopt another pit bull because it would make him feel like he was replacing Bones. Instead, he adopted a australian cattle dog– also known as the blue heel – named Blue Ferrigno, or blue for short.

“I remember when I first met Blue. I couldn’t even see what he looked like; he wouldn’t slow down long enough,” Broido told Daily Paws.

Blue is always energetic around the house, but once he dons his service jacket all he has to do is get to work. As a service dog, Blue assists Broido in his daily routine, reminds him to take his medication, and protects him in public.

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Broido says one of the most important jobs Blue is trained for is deep pressure therapy. If Broido is having a panic attack, especially in public, he may lie down and Blue will put his body weight on his chest, which will help calm him down.

“It’s very useful in situations where I have to apologize completely for any scenario and go take a cold pill somewhere,” Broido told Daily Paws. “I’m sure it sounds weird to people, but some people just see it as a guy weirdly cuddling his dog in a strange place.”

While Blue’s first job is to help Broido as a trained service animal, he also provides companionship and love. Broido says the two are a perfect match; they both let their exuberant and sassy personalities shine at home, but in public they are well-behaved gentlemen.

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“I’m not saying every vet needs a service dog, but it’s an amazing tool for veterans who may need it and not realize it,” Broido said.

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