My Pitch Is Caught!

Animals can be a life saver for PTSD sufferers.
Animals can be a life saver for PTSD sufferers.

This is cool, my pitch to Geez Magazine for their animals issue has been accepted. I’ll be writing about animals as healers for those suffering from PTSD, both the combat & non-combat forms. It’s a long-form piece and first “real journalism style” piece I’ve done for them. The editor called my pitch “well thought out” and she “thinks it will make a strong piece for the issue.”

This was my pitch to them:

The Transformative Power of Animals on PTSD Sufferers and Others

Hi, I am pitching for the above noted issue. I would explore the idea of animals as healers. Included in my article would be the following:

1. Briefly describe (one or two paragraphs, at most) my own healing journey in which animals played a role — from the bunny I played with as a 12 year old in an abusive foster home (which thus provided brief respite from that abuse) — to the volunteer work I did at the Calgary Humane Society as a volunteer dog walker shortly after moving to Calgary in 1993, which helped assuage the loneliness of living in a strange city where I only knew one other person.

2. I would then expand the scope of the article outwards to focus on dogs used as healers and helpers for PTSD. I would (hopefully -to be confirmed) interview Andrew Sprague, who has a service dog for PTSD. His dog’s name is Flicka and, according to Andrew’s website, is the first service trained dog for those who suffer from non-combat PTSD (Andrew is a childhood sexual abuse survivor).

3. I would also weave information about PTSD (both combat and non combat types) and how animals are able to help with healing to the point that, according to “speed recovery from PTSD and help reduce reliance on medication.”

4. My article would also contain a statement from a therapist on animal benefits to abuse survivors, and a testimonial from a combat vet on how his PTSD service dog has helped him or her.

I believe my story is important to raise awareness that:

1) Service dogs for PTSD are not just for combat PTSD, as Andrew’s story will demonstrate.

2) By highlighting the benefits of having a PTSD service dog to a PTSD sufferer, this will help the lack of understanding and/or education that may exist about PTSD service dogs. This lack of understanding and/or education seems to be demonstrated by establishments such as restaurants and retailers who deny entry to persons with PTSD service dog.

I feel I’m qualified to write this piece as I have a writing certificate from the University of Calgary, I have been published in Geez magazine before, and elsewhere (please see this link for my list of publications:

Further, I have some personal experience with PTSD due to my abusive childhood. I have experienced the healing power of animals, having had pets most of my life.

Thanks for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.


I am excited about writing this article.