This is cool, my pitch to Geez Magazine http://www.geezmagazine.org/ 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, http://myptsdservicedog.com/about-me/ 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 http://www.nsd.on.ca/programs/skilled-companion-dogs-for-veterans/ “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: http://ksdueck.com/publications-and-portfolio/
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.