Service animals are being seen more and more for the variety of things they do for the people who need them. Going back, we used to marvel at "seeing eye dogs for the blind" but today, a service animal is so much more than that. They can be the eyes, ears, balance and lifeline to so many who have been afflicted physically or emotionally in different ways and how they are taught and what they can sense is far beyond what we as humans can really comprehend. We know that animals have heightened senses, smell, sight, hearing and more. When those senses are highly tuned and that training is applied to a specific individuals needs, a life long bond is made to assist someone who may otherwise be trapped.
There are organizations who train the animals and of course, there are some substantial costs involved. From the initial vetting of the animal to see if they are capable of such work to the meticulous work it takes, initially up to a year and then a life time of exercise in the practice preparing an animal to recognize things like emotion, fear, triggers and more is an endeavor not for the faint hearted. There are organizations too that work to help defer the cost for individuals who are in need of this kind of assistance as well as pair up animals and people, and that's where the Jaeger Foundation comes in.
The Jaeger Foundation is a dedicated group of veterans and civilians who are helping vets and first responders in our community. They strive to equip veterans and first responders with K-9 companionship to help navigate the day to day life some may struggle with and cut through the red tape as quickly as possible. As we discussed, it's up to a year to properly train an animal and the idea of getting one probably comes after a long time of internal struggle of the individual in need, because all too often, these are the kinds of issues we all suffer in silence. The Jager Foundation works to take the stigma away from the need for help, the work to make the ability for someone in need to get the assistance they can bring as seamless as possible and as a grass roots organization with a desire to grow, they seek out funding through grants, donations and fundraising.
All of that doesn't have to come with gloom and doom, far from it. The Jaeger Foundation has had some pretty good success actually with laughter in their quest to raise money. They have partnered with the Back Alley Comedy Club in Muskegon to put on the "Special Farces Comedy Show" in years past. Of course, a minor pause did come along with the past year, but in 2021 they hope the event will return in all it's glory to benefit Medal Of Honor Recipient James C. McCloughan. The date for the show is October 8th and the location is 1531 W. Sherman in the Sherman Lanes Complex.
I met up with Jonathan Jacobs and Danielle Sidock to learn a little more about the Jaeger Foundation itself as well as this particular event and the man they are trying to help. Take a listen.
It's yet another shining example of how people in Muskegon find a way to get it done and pull on the same rope. We've learned so much over the years as to the long lasting effects of PTSD and the other high impact effects of what happens to military and first responders in their dedicated working lives. It's a sacrifice they put forth for the greater good of all of us and the residual effects long term are unforeseen. How can we work together to help? It takes some drive and dedication, that's for sure, and the Jaeger Foundation is putting that up front. Us behind them with a little financial help and some help raising awareness about who they are and what they do, that can't hurt either. Enjoy the show, or if you are so moved, send in a contribution to aid this life changing work done on behalf of those willing to give all for the rest of us. Learn more about the Jaeger Foundation by clicking on their logo below.