Air Force veteran helps train service dogs for fellow vets
RIVERVIEW, Fla. — Wherever Morgan Watt goes, his trusty service dog Foley is never far behind.
“I don’t know what I would do without him. I really do not know. Because he’s a lifesaver,” Watt said.
Watt is an Air Force veteran. He suffers from chronic migraines following a brain injury. He was also treated for post-traumatic stress disorder.
What do you want to know
- Morgan Watt is an Air Force veteran who suffers from PTSD. His service dog Foley helped him recover
- Foley came from Southeastern Guide Dogs, which matches veterans with PTSD or other disabilities with a service dog
- Watt helps Southeastern train other dogs on how to be in the water
But the seven years he spent with Foley helped him recover.
“With Foley, he’s like a giant mirror. When I have it and I have a panic attack or feel down, it’s there and picks up on it,” Watt said.
Not only is Foley there emotionally for Watt, but the dog is even trained to do things like fetch medicine when Watt needs it.
The two met through Southeastern Guide Dogs, which matches veterans with PTSD or other disabilities with a service dog.
On #NationalRescueDogDay, I’m thrilled to introduce Morgan Watt and his service dog, Foley! Morgan is an Air Force veteran who was paired with Foley by @SEGuideDogs to help with PTSD. He also helps train other service dogs to be on the water. Watch the story on @BN9 & @MyNews13 this morning ! pic.twitter.com/6ZUFfGKkdG
—Tim Wronka (@TimWronka) May 20, 2022
“Have you ever felt unconditional love? That’s what it’s like to work with a Southeast guide dog,” Watt said. “They’re just built and trained and bred to be pure love. And to be there whenever you need him.
It’s the love that Watt wants to share with other veterans.
He volunteers his time with Southeast Guide Dogs to help train them in a unique way – how to be on a boat.
Watt and Foley spend a lot of time on the water together.
“Having him there with me to relax on the water is one of the best stress relievers I can have,” Watt said.
So he invites dogs in training to come aboard with Foley to learn the ropes on a boat.
“It gets them used to the sites, the smells, the overwhelming feeling of getting on the boat and getting them to the point where they can still work,” Watt said.
Southeastern Guide Dogs is based in Palmetto and is funded by all private donations. Right now they are having their Heroes Challenge, where all donations are matched, if you want to help their cause.