“I first did my research on the internet. This is how I found the Les Chiens Togo organization. In the beginning, I was surprised that this type of organization existed in my province. I was particularly touched by the humanitarian aspect that engages the organization: the dogs selected for training are from animal shelters, they’re offered a second chance in life as well, I bought in. This concept touches me enormously. Then I enquired of my doctor and psychologist. No surprise that they approved and supported me in this process. Being a very rational person, I’m conscious that an assistance dog is more a tool for my recovery than a magic wand. In weighing the pros and cons, I decided to throw myself into the Togo adventure. After making an appointment, the Togo team received me with enormous professionalism. Despite my state of stress I was right away reassured and understood by the team. I was able to tell my story, my motivations and my intentions. What a relief! Then the process began. Once the administrative rules were over, the Togo team maintained regular contact with me to follow up on my file. Many dogs were presented to me until THE right one was chosen. After 8 weeks of intensive training, the dog was given to me. The adaptation of my way of life was easier than I had expected and a powerful connection was created between the animal and myself. First, my pet is attentive to signs of anxiety that I can have. He helps bring me back to the present time when the night terrors occur. Then, he takes me out of the isolation provoked by my state of stress. The close relationship developed with my Togo dog is such that my medications have begun to diminish. Sleeping is, with him as well, greatly improved since I have cohabited with my pet. I don’t feel alone anymore and I am reassured to have the presence of this being who continuously watches over me. In just a few days I observed and sensed beneficial effects from my psychological assistance dog (PAD). My friends and family, as well as myself, have observed, without a doubt, the diminution of symptoms relative to post-traumatic stress. I am a lot less anxious and my hyper-vigilance almost doesn’t manifest itself anymore. What happiness it is to gradually rediscover the joy of life. Finally, I am conscious that my assistance dog doesn’t alone assure my recovery. On the other hand, I am forced to admit that he greatly contributes to my recuperation. After all, who says dog says friend for life. Courtesy of the Les Chiens Togo organization I am not only in possession of a supplementary therapeutic tool but of a life companion that brings me, unconditional love.”

“I met Noémie (director/founder of Les Chiens Togo) before the project had materialized. I needed help with the aim of seeing if my dog could eventually help me and become an assistance dog, with the objective of controlling a serious anxiety problem and helping me to live with post-traumatic stress. Noémie was extraordinary; in terms of listening, giving advice and bringing assistance. Thanks to her and Les Chiens Togo I can today affront life’s trials with the help of my precious Yuma. But her help is more than just that of an assistance dog. She allows an exchange between humans and Togo dogs, thereby creating connections and sharing experiences with people who live with similar difficulties. She has become a friend. A simple thank you is not a sufficient testimonial to my gratitude.”

“Like other parents, we always search for the best for our children. We search for easy intervention methods that we can use in our daily lives. We knew that our daughter had an interest in dogs. Therefore, we did our research in this direction. We quickly realized that time was passing and to hire a dog trainer appeared to be too big of an obstacle for us. This option was dismissed from the beginning. We turned towards Les Chiens Togo that for us, was a second wind and of inestimable help. Like all parents of children having attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity, impulsivity and opposition disorder, daily life is not easy. A good companion dog somehow alleviates crises, the changes of humour, the continual opposition as well as unpleasant behaviours, even disturbances that our daughter continuously lives with. The dog, this support, helps us to better redirect attention and calm our daughter since the conventional basics (active listening, reassurance, consistency, compassion….) are less effective. I want to thank the entire Togo team, particularly Noémie Labbé-Roy and Mélissa Ellefsen for having understood our needs and for having supported us in our efforts. You are both very sensitive to our needs and you helped us through our training after the Togo dog’s arrival in our house. You are really marvellous people. Again, thank you a thousand times.”