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Onnie and her dog, Sam, both had challenges. Onnie has severe anxiety and could barely leave the house while her companion, Sam, had a bad case of fear aggression. After several months of patience and training, Sam conquered his fear and became Onnie's rock, allowing her to also live a life without anxiety. Watching the duo work together and help each other through their fears had meant more to Dave than anything.
Sean Ellis is an Army Veteran who served from Aug 2008 to July 2014. He attained the rank of Private First Class (PFC), while serving as a Construction Equipment Repairer (MOS 91L). Sean served in Iraq from Nov 2009 to July 2010.
Bailey is a Ridgeback Lab Mix, who was rescued by Ray's Hope in May 2019. Bailey loves providing comfort to her companions as well as riding in the car and playing.
Sean reached out to Ray’s Hope on May 2019 looking for an emotional support dog to help
him combat loneliness and PTSD. After talking to Sean and assessing his needs, we set out
looking for his companion. At about the same time, a dog owner contacted us. He had a Ridgeback-Labrador mix
named Bailey that he was no longer able to care for. Rather than taking him to a shelter, he
reached out to Dave Essex and Ray’s Hope. Dave immediately went to meet this pup and
conduct some temperament testing. That day, Dave felt that Bailey was a good match for
Sean. A few days later, the pair met and it was love at first sight. They are virtually inseparable and,
with Dave’s help, Bailey is on his way to becoming Sean’s permanent service dog. Dave and Sean are training Bailey to perform the specific tasks Sean needs to overcome his post-
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