Surrendered dog gives veteran a new outlook on life

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Last year, South Mississippi native Jocko Angle got a dog from the Humane Society of South Mississippi (HSSM). He got a dog no one else wanted.

Now Angle has founded King's Second Chance. It's an organization that rescues shelter dogs, trains them, and matches them with wounded warriors, or disabled veterans.

Mary McGriff orders her dog through a series of commands, with a smile on her face. But, just months ago she was suffering.

"Post traumatic stress disorder and depression from my deployment to Iraq," said McGriff.

She turned to Angle who trains dogs to help wounded warriors. On February 13 a light stepped into her life in an unlikely form.

"He [Jocko Angle] called me and said we got your poodle," said McGriff.

"He didn't know any commands. I mean, that's when he was here. He growled at me. He was just about everything a service dog candidate shouldn't be, but there was just something about him," said Angle.

"He was surrendered because he was destructive. So now Jocko always says these dogs go from disposable to priceless just overnight," said Krystyna Szczechowki with HSSM.

Angle did some testing and initial testing and then Shepherds for Lost Sheep trained the dog. With a little love and training, he was the exact therapeutic kinship the doctor ordered.

His nametag reads, "Courage." It's a name that couldn't be more appropriate.

"The more I thought of Courage, it really took a lot of that for me to get to where I'm at," said McGriff.

Courage is even making canine headlines, having met President Obama when he was brought to the White House for a soldier ride.

"It's really nice to know that I have him by my side now. Everywhere I go, I take him with me. It's just an additional reminder, I need to continue living and making the best that I can of my life," said McGriff.

Thanks to King's Second Chance, HSSM and a curly white furry friend, McGriff is nothing but smiles.

Everywhere that McGriff goes, the dog is sure to follow.

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