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Man Brings His Service Dog To A Prison Then Watches The Pup Take Off Without Warning

Sargent Bill Campbell, a National Guard veteran turned biologist at the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, couldn’t sit idly by as his countrymen shed blood in the Iraq War. So, in 2004, he re-enlisted to serve.
From ’04-’05, he managed security at an overseas military base. During his tenure there, he suffered concussions, took shrapnel to his brain, and came far too close to too many car bombs. Combat took its toll, and he was deemed 100 percent disabled.
In fact, by the time he returned home to Washington State, the 47-year-old suffered from post-traumatic stress and anxiety so severe that he was afraid to leave his house. The ghosts of death and destruction haunted his every move. He needed serious help.
In stepped Pax, the 17-month-old yellow Labrador and service dog trained to help him face the challenges of life. Donated to Sargent Campbell by the non-profit organization, Puppies Behind Bars, Pax had a tough task ahead of him—was he up to the challenge?
Right away, Pax’s very presence forced Sargent Campbell to do the impossible with surprising regularity: “Pax forces me to go out,” Campbell said to ABC News. “He has to go for walks.” But the dog had a far more profound impact than that.
Sargent Campbell’s condition made a trip to the grocery store or deli impossible. Fears of hidden snipers or assailants sneaking up on him had him constantly looking over his shoulder in terror. Pax helped with that, too.
Pax was trained to literally watch Sargent Campbell’s back! “If I go places and tell him to sit,” the Sargent said, “he faces the opposite direction and it’s comforting…Pax will lie down, and if someone is coming up from behind me, he’ll sit up and warn me.”
Come nightfall, the dog sleeps in bed beside Sargent Campbell and his wife, Domenica—both seen below. When the troubled veteran inevitably wakes from a nightmare, he can find Pax at his side and know he’s in bed at home in Washington.
Despite some uncomfortable moments with Pax—random barks from the dog or strangers wanting to pet him—Sargent Campbell admitted the dog steadies him in a life dominated by his tumultuous mental state. Because of that, the Sargent had an interesting thought…
Could he take Pax to visit the woman who trained him? Could he see the woman who saved his own life by instilling the know-how into Pax? Sargent Campbell did just that, and the journey was far more moving than he could’ve imagined.
See, Pax was trained by an inmate at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison for women. The prison—located in New York—was a 3,000-mile jaunt away. Sargent Campbell made the trip with his pooch and Domenica at his side.
On his return to the facility where he spent his formative years, Pax was noticeably excited, and his excitement only grew as he got closer and closer to the woman who once trained him. Then, he finally saw her.
When Pax saw his old trainer, Laurie Kellogg, there was no doubt as to whether or not the pooch missed her. He sprinted towards her open arms and the two collided in an electric reunion. He “washed my face with kisses,” Laurie said.
As the afternoon progressed, Laurie opened up about her life to Sargent Campbell. She was a convicted murderer who’d been handed young Pax to train just three weeks after the death of her father. The dog impacted her, too.
Training Pax helped her mourn the loss of her dad, but surprisingly, the dog helped her in a way very similar to the Sargent. “I too had P.T.S.D.,” she said, “after years of domestic violence. I too had flashbacks. Pax knew.” She continued…
Pax “let me know I wasn’t there—I was here,” she said. “I knew he would make someone feel safe. He made me feel a sense of freedom in a place I was supposed to feel anything but.” The dog, she said, patched pieces of her broken self.
“He gave me back pieces of myself that I forgot even existed,” Laurie said in a room with the other 27 women who train Puppies Behind Bars pooches. “She restored a piece of my soul.” 
For the remainder of the visit, Laurie took Sargent Campbell on a walk through her memories of a dog who changed her just as he changed him. She even showed him Pax’s old water bowl, which she’d cherished in her cell.
At the end of the visit, Laurie was elated at having seen her old friend, Pax. “I never thought I’d see him again,” she said. “If they opened the doors and let me out of prison, I wouldn’t feel this good.” That’s high praise for a good boy!

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