Louisville Magazine

AUG 2018

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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Page 77 of 144

LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 8.18 75 trauma center in Iraq and evacuated to Germany, where doctors re-stabilized him and sent him to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. He was there nine weeks. It seemed longer. For the next four years, he was in and out of hospitals. Ziegenfuss is unemotional as he talks about the explosion, his descriptions clinical. But there was nothing matter of fact about any of it. Eighteen months after his injuries, he was a changed man. "I had been a pretty social person, whether it was going to the movies or going out to dinner, going for a walk, going out hunting or fishing," he says. Now, he did nothing. "I was just home. It was work, then home, work and home.…I wasn't really being a part of life, even of the life of my family." (He has two children.) "I was sort of on pause," he says. "Life had kind of stopped." at's when his wife Carren called her brother — David Benson. "What would you think about helping me get a service dog for Chuck?" Carren said. Benson began visiting breeders. He wanted to find a dog with a happy, friendly temperament and moderate energy. After comparing breeding pairs and their litters, he settled on Major, a little butterball of Labrador retriever. Ziegenfuss was caught in a fluffy trap. "e beauty of getting a puppy is you're forced to get up and do," Ziegenfuss says. For the first year, Benson advised his brother-in-law over the phone about basic obedience and manners training. When Major was a year old, Ziegenfuss brought him to Benson to work on service-dog commands. Ziegenfuss's experience with Major planted an idea in his brother-in-law's mind, Ziegenfuss says. "I was really excited about it, and David saw that growth over time." It was the impetus for what came next. Actually, several things came next. First, two more veterans asked Benson to train service dogs for them. en, in 2013, the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart gave Benson their Patriot Award for obtaining and training a dog for the second veteran. Inmates are dog trainers at the Kentucky State Reformatory.

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