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Our Story

My Name is Andrea J Hanson. I am 43 and I have been in the Navy for 18 years. I have been diagnosed with PTSD, severe depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. I received Nala, a German Shephard, my service dog on October 18, 2017, from Black Paw Canine.


Prior to having Nala as a part of my life, my anxiety attacks were crippling. I was unable to have a normal functioning adult life. Grocery shopping? At 3 am when there wasn’t anyone there. Outings with a crowd. Not a chance. Driving without having an anxiety attack? Leaving my home to attend plans that were made? Other than going to work, my outside life ended. The normal day to day functions of living was not easy for me.


Life with Nala? Nala has given me my life back, my ability to not only exist but to live. I can go to the grocery store at 5:30 pm when it is absolutely packed. Why? Because Nala keeps me focused on her. She and I are in our own little bubble and she worries about all the outside occurrences and I just focus on her. She has learned my needs. When I am overly emotional on the verge of a panic attack she will come to me and put her paws on my lap or crawl up on my lap and start licking my face and neck. She is my support system and my best friend. Not only has she become my ability to live a normal life she gives me unconditional friendship, unconditional love and I know I am never alone. She keeps me safe and protected. She warns me when someone doesn’t suit her.


She travels with me everywhere I go, work, the gym, shopping, vacations, cruises, flights. I couldn’t imagine not having her and going back to not existing. 


-Andrea Hanson


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