In a heartwarming gesture, a 25-pound Belgian Malinois puppy named Gunner made a tail-wagging entrance into the Osceola County jail, surprising his new owner, Keith Lynch—an Army veteran and dedicated corrections officer.
What started as a routine photo session for Lynch’s division quickly transformed into an unforgettable moment. Overwhelmed with joy, Lynch exclaimed, “One moment, I thought I was coming up here to do a photo for the division I work for, and then I walk in to all this—it was just amazing, it was awesome.”
Following in the footsteps of his father and brother, Lynch served in the army for four years and has dedicated 16 years to the field of corrections. Throughout his journey, he has faced the challenges of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and yearned for an emotional support dog. Thanks to the efforts of a specialized breeder in protection dogs and a generous trainer offering free training, Lynch’s dream became a reality.
Brianna Holzerland, from Hozerland Protection Dogs, explained the unique bond between humans and dogs, stating, “There’s something a dog does. It gets you to wake up every day. You have to feed the dog. You have to give the dog water. You have to walk the dog, and you establish a bond with a dog like no other. So, that is our goal every time we give away.”
Gunner, the chosen puppy, will undergo rigorous training in protection, sports, and various environmental scenarios. With his exceptional abilities, he will fearlessly accompany Lynch and his family wherever they go. Kathryn Schreiner, from Marsoc’s K9 Training Facility, expressed, “Nothing is better than going through life with man’s best friend.”
Belgian Malinois dogs are renowned for their eagerness to please, loyalty, and courage, making them ideal companions for individuals like Lynch. Excitedly, Lynch declared, “He’s going to go everywhere with us. Everywhere.
Travel, everywhere we go, he’s going to go with us.” Research from the American Psychological Association suggests that owning a dog can significantly aid in combating PTSD, highlighting the profound impact Gunner will have on Lynch’s well-being.
This heartwarming surprise marks the beginning of an inseparable bond between a dedicated veteran, a compassionate corrections officer, and his beloved Belgian Malinois puppy, Gunner.