A shelter dog and a veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and severe anxiety help each other have better lives on tonight’s premiere of Animal Planet’s new series Rescue Dog to Super Dog.
The show follows dog trainers Nate Schoemer and Laura London as they match shelter animals with people who have physical, psychological or neurological disabilities.
The dogs are chosen due to the specific attributes they have that can help the person in need, while in turn the rescue dog gets a loving home.
The cameras then follow Nate and Laura as they work with the animals and people to get them both up to speed through training.
The skills needed are different for each person, and range from turning on lights and opening doors to helping with walking and applying pressure in specific places during panic attacks.
Tonight’s premiere sees Bass, a golden retriever-rottweiler mix, matched by Nate with Kalani, a former marine who has severe anxiety and PTSD.
Watch the clip below as Nate helps show Kalani how Bass can help comfort him when he’s suffering bad bouts of depression, by cuddling up to him on the couch and getting him outside the house for walks.
Kalani says: “Not so long ago, this was a dog somebody gave up on. In many ways, I feel like I gave up on myself and when I watch Bass and he puts forth that effort for me, I have no option but to put forth the same effort for him.
“He’s not giving up on me, and I’m never going to give up on him.”
The premiere episode also sees Laura work with a great dane rescue matched with Kelly, who has a rare form of cerebral palsy.
Rescue Dog to Super Dog airs Saturdays at 10/9c on Animal Planet.