Shelter dog is trained to help veteran

OKEECHOBEE — Last year, a dog named Nova was surrendered to Trail of Hope Animal Rescue because her family was evicted and ultimately became homeless. They felt the best thing for Nova was to turn her in to Trail of Hope, where she would have a chance for a better life, and things did turn around for Nova. She was able to go through the Pawsitive Directions Program at Okeechobee Correctional Institute and graduate with her CGC Canine Good Citizen readiness and with PhD readiness in CLASS Canine Life and Social Skills. Her handlers in the program were Christopher Bosworth and Jeffrey Bethel.
At the same time, a young veteran was actively seeking a dog to assist him. He was already approved and was looking for a dog to be trained in a wounded warrior type program. This veteran, Jordan Kahle, met Nova at her graduation and arranged to take her home to see if they would bond so they could proceed with the training. They synced perfectly, said Dee Dee Morris of Trail of Hope.
The next hurdle would be financial. The cost to adopt Nova was $300. Mr. Kahle asked if there was any assistance for the adoption fee. Stephanie Taylor, who volunteers at Trail of Hope, is also a member of American Legion. She approached Dan Fennell, who is the former commander of post #64 and asked if there was any way the post could assist with the adoption fee. Mr. Fennell spoke to the members at the next meeting, and they all agreed to pay the fee. The adoption was finalized and Mr. Fennell attended as a representative of the American Legion. “We were happy to help,” he said. “It wasn’t the first time. We have donated to Wounded Warriors in the past. It’s a good cause.”
Mr. Kahle and Nova are now attending further training with “Train a Dog Save a Warrior” (TADSAW), a 501c3. No Harsh Hands Dog Training trainer Sandy Graf is the new trainer. TADSAW services are provided at no cost to the veteran. The training takes as long as is deemed necessary depending on the team. “Each team of dog and veteran is different,” said Mr. Kahle.
Mr. Kahle and his family were able to take Nova home with them in November.

Jordan Kahle, his wife Eugenia, daughter Gabriella, son Tyler and Nova are pictured with Dan Fennell, the former commander of the American Legion post #64, who helped the Kahle with Nova’s adoption fee.
Christopher Bosworth (left) and Jeffrey Bethel trained Nova in the Pawsitive Direction Program at OCI.
“Nova is having a hard day at the office,” said new owner, friend, master Jordan Kahle.

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