Beamer the Dog
Author: Beamer Burleson
Note: Today is National Therapy Animal Day, a day to recognize animals who bring unconditional love, comfort and healing to their human companions.
Greetings my two-legged friends!
My name is Beamer Burleson and I’ve been told that I am the greatest dog on the planet! I am 11 years old and have the joy of helping my Mommy by being her best friend when she is sad. She calls me her service dog. It all started with Daddy and Mommy wanting me to help other soldiers when they returned from deployments. We trained as a Therapy Dog Team and I visited wounded warriors at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where my Daddy and Mommy were stationed. I had the honor of meeting the brave warriors at their hospital bedside, giving them love while they talked about their experiences. I remember one soldier I met that came home from Iraq and could no longer see. My Daddy asked if he would like to pet me and when the soldier said yes, he started crying as soon as he felt my cold wet nose and my fluffy fur. He and I became good friends and we would visit every couple days to check on him and give him some sloppy kisses.
My Mommy started having a hard time sleeping, waking up all night long and being too afraid to go to sleep. Daddy and I would talk about ways to help Mommy when we would go for runs. I loved my time running with Daddy, he really loved me. Daddy said that I needed to love on Mommy when she was sad and cuddle with her at night. I did my best to do what Daddy asked and he rewarded me with treats and running races together. We were a happy family and I realized that I was also helping Daddy with his struggles that came after his time in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sadly my Daddy died by suicide in March of 2016 as a result of his injuries from the war.
After Daddy passed away, I helped Mommy full-time. Mommy and I would train and run together. I would see Mommy cry endlessly. It was now my job to help Mommy and young Brylie, my best friend, after losing our Daddy. After a long year of training, I graduated from school and became my Mommy’s service dog. I have traveled everywhere with Mommy over the past four years. She takes me along with her when she goes away and I protect her through the night so she can sleep.
I am the luckiest dog alive to have such a great family. Mommy has even taken me to a place where I get treated like a rock star, it’s called TAPS. It’s a place where people like my Mommy go to talk about their experiences and they seem to help each other out. The best part is, when I walk in the room, I get all kinds of love. It is amazing to be loved by so many amazing people. I really enjoy when they pet me, I let them know by talking back to them with a happy wag of my tail. Sometimes I get a little wet from their tears, but that’s just a part of the job. I am getting older and slightly slower, but that does not stop me from doing what I do best, helping my Mommy and Brylie when they are down.
Love to all my two-legged friends!
Song Honors Bond Between Marine and His K9
In 2012, Sgt. Joshua Ryan Ashley and Sirius, a 4-year-old military working K9, led a patrol in Afghanistan when an IED struck. Josh was killed. Sirius survived and was eventually adopted by Josh’s mother, Tammie Ashley. Tammie and Josh’s brother, Jordan, worked with songwriters Greg Friia and Wood Newton to compose “K9 Brother,” a song about Josh’s bond with Sirius.
The song is featured on “Love Lives On,” a collaboration between military survivors and Nashville songwriters. It is an album dedicated to military men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Pre-order the album now, which goes on sale May 22, and read more about the album and the survivor families involved in its production.
TAPS provides comfort, care and resources to all those grieving the death of a military loved one. Since 1994, TAPS has provided comfort and hope 24/7 through a national peer support network and connection to grief resources, all at no cost to surviving families and loved ones. No matter how large or small the gift, each donation makes a difference and provides surviving military families with connection and healing.