EUROPE
Shadow McPupperson

Shadow McPupperson (Aaron Colyer)

As a PTSD service dog, Shadow has a lot more responsibility than a pet. He is a big mastiff, shepherd mix and “does pretty good flying,” according to his handler, Aaron Colyer. Shadow will be 10 years old this year, so he is a well-versed senior pup!

Shadow knows his way around airports and we loved the picture of him checking his size against the American Airlines carry-on guidelines. For this flight he was on his way to Cincinnati, Ohio.

“He barely fits in the space between the seats, but he is a great dog so he manages. ”

— Aaron Colyer

In his downtime, Shadow also loves to snuggle. Here he is with Sassy the kitten. She got her name from swatting at Shadow when they first met, and though they are no longer together, Shadow still gets excited when he sees other kitties.

Sassy and Shadow McPupperson

Sassy and Shadow McPupperson (Aaron Colyer)

Shadow’s handler, Aaron Colyer, struggled after his discharge from the military. As a 100% disabled veteran, Colyer has faced challenges with homelessness, spending roughly a decade without a permanent home. In that time, he was paired with Shadow, who is a constant help.

They are now in a stable housing situation, though he does feel like his PTSD diagnosis has been used as a legal excuse to keep him from having a relationship with his child. However, Colyer says that “having a guaranteed income and consistent mental health treatment, and having Shadow McPupperson, have all contributed tremendously to my housing stability for sure.”

Shadow McPupperson

Shadow McPupperson (Aaron Colyer)

Do you also have an amazing animal in your life? Submit their picture with “pet photo Europe” as the subject to contentteam@stripes.com. Pets only, please. Include a brief description of your pet and where the photo was taken. 

author picture
Kat is a travel and lifestyle writer based in Kaiserslautern, Germany with a special interest in anything outdoorsy or ancient. She has a bachelor’s degree in geography from Penn State University and has been a travel writer for about 10 years. Currently, she is in the depths of dissertation research for an archaeology degree at the University of the Highlands and Islands. 

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