Mary Cortani. Operation Freedom Paws
Today, another episode in our Military Series. I’m very excited to be joined by Mary Cortani.
Mary is a Vietnam-era veteran and a Certified Army Master of Canine Education. She’s been training dogs for more than 35 years, starting in the military where she prepared dogs for work in sentry and explosive detection.
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In 2010, a former Marine approached Mary seeking assistance in acquiring a service dog to help him overcome anxiety disorders caused by combat hyper-vigilance. The multi-year waiting lists for trained dogs from existing organizations were just one more source of frustration for that returning vet.
Mary knew that she could leverage her extensive dog-training experience to train that vet to train his own service dog. She also realized there are thousands of dogs waiting for loving homes and that many of them have the right temperament for service work. Those factors combined to form a strategy that would dramatically reduce the waiting time.
The approach turned out to do so much more: It gave the vet a sense of mission and purpose, and as the training proceeded, it provided a sense of accomplishment and renewed confidence as well. Thus was born the Operation Freedom Paws (OFP) program, and for Mary, the alignment of her skillset, her capacity as a gifted leader and her life purpose.
In This Episode