For so many individuals, especially veterans, service dogs are priceless friends. Dogs offer therapeutic companionship that may be used to treat diseases like PTSD, so there are many advantages.
Many veterans who own assistance dogs consider these animals to be their closest pals in the entire world. That dog belonged to German Shepherd Kaya for Marine Corps soldier Cole Lyle. Even during the several travels he took on airplanes, Kaya stayed by his side constantly.
Kaya recently had her farewell flight, which was unfortunate, but she was treated quite well on board.
Cole, a resident of North Texas, returned after a six-year tour of duty in Afghanistan suffering from PTSD. “I tried medication and counseling. The medications had the opposite effect. I went downhill and was on the verge of joining the veteran suicide statistics, the veteran told WFAA.
A veteran friend advised him to consider obtaining a service dog. Kaya was the runt of her litter when Cole took her home, and he spent $10,000 of his own money to train her as a service dog.
It was well worth it because Cole claims the dog has significantly improved his health and even stopped his suicidal thoughts. Kaya was taught to awaken Cole from dreams and to halt anxiety attacks.
He stated that a dog “may be a tremendous thing to keep you around.” If you reach that moment, you will likely respond, “Well, I can’t leave the dog,” as you stare down at the animal. I would be missed by the dog.
Kaya had an effect on veterans around the nation in addition to Cole. The two fought for the PAWS Act, which offers canine training for soldiers with PTSD, after Cole was appointed an advisor to the US Senate on veterans affairs.
Bipartisan support was needed for that legislation to be signed into law in August 2021.
Kaya had a very interesting existence. She had several encounters with politicians and famous people, walked in Cole’s graduation ceremony, and traveled extensively with the vet on numerous flights.
Sadly, a tumor behind her tongue started to spread in January, which negatively impacted her quality of life. Cole wished to save his devoted buddy from any pain.
With all the anguish and suffering that she stopped, Cole said WFAA, “I didn’t want her to be in misery and suffer.”
He brought her on one more flight from Virginia to their house in Texas when he realized that it was almost over. Cole added, “She’s a Texas gal, and I didn’t want her to die in Virginia.
But this wasn’t your typical flight. They boarded Southwest Airlines, on which they had had 250 previous flights. When the airline learned that this was Kaya’s last trip, they took some amazing action to commemorate the event.
The trip on February 2 included a unique message that the captain gave over the intercom. He introduced Kaya and described to the travelers what she does as a service dog and what she did to pass the PAWS Act.
When she returns home to rest where she was born and first met Cole, he said he had the “solemn honor of what will be her final trip.”
“Maya and Cole, your two veterans up front, we thank you both for your service,” said a spokesperson for Southwest Airlines.
Kaya receives a wave of applause from the passengers in a video provided by Southwest Airlines, then Kaya, who had been lying down, suddenly pulls her head up.
The airline also provided a cart for Kaya’s mobility concerns once the two landed in Texas.
Cole disclosed Kaya’s passing a few days later. He tweeted, “Cheers to a life well-lived and loved.” “I already miss you, babygirl. Without you, my heart is crushed and I’m numb. But now that you’re pain-free, it’s happy. I appreciate how you personify ‘Semper Fidelis’.
Kaya, rest in peace.