Sean and Neville's Story (I'm not crying, you're crying)

Sean Maher is a retired member of the Royal Canadian Dragoons, an armoured regiment of the Canadian Military.  His six and a half years of service with the Canadian Forces brought him to Gagetown, Germany, Ottawa, Petawawa and in 1994-1995 he served in Bosnia. 

Shortly after his retirement, Sean began to experience trouble with his sleep and was given sleep aids from his doctor. Later in 1999 he was diagnosed with PTSD. 

Not content to see his fellow vets go through the same difficulties, Sean became an advocate for his peers, working with an organization called OSISS (Operational Stress Injury Social Support) offering support to his peers by listening and relating to the stress of returning home after war. 

Additionally, Sean helped found another organization called Spartan Wellness that gives veterans access to a network of specialists that ensures they are aware of all available options to get the best care for themselves and their families. Sean’s area of interest includes helping those addicted to opioids with the aid of cannabis.

Through all of that, Sean still suffered with his own pain and symptoms associated with PTSD.  Waiting in the line at the grocery store left him feeling anxious and trapped, often leaving his cart behind to make an exit. 

Then Sean applied for a service dog and three years later was matched with Neville.  


You may remember when Gord and Cheri visited NSD in the spring and had the pleasure of meeting Neville just as he was getting ready to be homed with his new owner… Sean.  We were so honoured when Sean agreed to connect with us, share his story and talk about how Neville has helped him. 

“Sometimes I get overwhelmed and slump with my elbows on my knees.  Neville will come over and nudge me as if to say ‘you got this’.  Since getting Neville I can go to the mall and Costco” These are things that the rest of us take for granted.

It was our goal in 2017 to raise enough money to home a service dog with a veteran dealing with PTSD and seeing it through and having the opportunity to chat with Sean about how Neville has changed his life is truly overwhelming.  We are so excited to announce that Sean is making the trip from Hamilton with Neville to join us on Saturday November 10th around noon for a visit.

Help us reach this year’s goal of $20,000 for Wounded Warriors of Canada. Register for a workout or sign up to volunteer here or you can donate here.

Bring your tissues.  

Cheri Doan