Jim Stanek first experienced service dogs after suffering a brain injury and PTSD. But when he tried to get one of his own, the price proved to be prohibitive. That’s when Jim and his wife Lindsey decided to start Paws & Stripes. A new show on A&E, “Dogs of War” premiered on Veterans Day and is one of the new docuseries in the A&E lineup. I finally got a chance to watch it on Friday (after a scare with my living room DVR) and I’m hoping it gets decision makers in the military to sit up and well … salute. It’s just not another one of those roll over and get your belly scratched dog shows. They’re not just rescuing dogs, and they’re not just raising awareness about PTSD. Everyone has a job and they all take it very seriously, the dog included. Each episode will feature a veteran, suffering in various ways with PTSD, being matched with a service dog. And if you think bringing a dog into an established and often fragile family dynamic is not a big deal, then you’re in for a surprise. That’s where Lindsey comes in. Because there’s nothing better than having been there and sharing it to help the next person move on. Yet this show didn’t have a single bit of predictability in it. I was hoping for the best through the whole 44 minutes, but when you’re dealing with war veterans and the absolute misery and unpredictability of PTSD, you just can’t bet on rainbows and kittens.
For the premiere episode, Michael chose Tennessee. It was the second dog he saw and when they were about to show him a third, he said “no” he didn’t want to see another dog. He knew that Tennesse was the one he wanted. He immediately changes his name to U_Suda. You can catch the entire first episode at aetv.com plus some clips on upcoming shows. The new night for the show will be Sunday at 9pm CT.