From the time he was 3 days old, the Golden Retriever named “Tuesday” has been trained to be an assistance dog. These days, he is fulfilling his doggie destiny by helping Captain Luis Carlos Montalvan, a 17-year combat veteran who served two tours in Iraq, earning the Combat Action Badge, two Bronze Stars, and the Purple Heart. When Capt. Montalvan came home for good in 2007, he was suffering from physical and psychological wounds, including traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal injuries, and post-traumatic stress disorder. That began the period of recovery and getting back to life that he calls “the war after the war.”
In an article in the Iowa newspaper the Press-Citizen, Capt. Montalvan admits to drinking to numb his pain, and he was having a difficult time adjusting to civilian life with disabilities. Then, in 2008, he was paired with Tuesday. According to Capt. Montalvan:
“(Tuesday) has dramatically been able to mitigate my disabilities and enable me to move forward,” he said. “He’s a brother, a guardian, a best friend. … In some ways, (he’s) a prosthetic because he helps me walk.
“There is a connection there, a mind/body/spirit connection, that is much deeper than master and dog,” he said. “I rely on him and he relies on me. … It’s a wonderful, mutually supportive relationship.”
Capt. Montalvan has written a book about his experiences in war, after coming home, and healing with Tuesday. It is called “Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him,” and was published by Hyperion. The book has gathered rave reviews from some big names, including Senator Al Franken, Lee Woodruff, and Paul Reickhoff, Founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).
These are the kinds of inspirational stories that feed the soul.
To read the full article in the Press-Citizen, click here: Soldier to talk about healing power of man’s best friend