Nietzsche (pronounced knee-chay), a 13-year-old female Labrador Retriever, is a service dog who's been nominated American Humane Association Hero Dog twice! Here's Nietzsche's story from her friend Kristen Beitzel:
I was introduced to Nietzsche in 2005 while working as a receptionist at Jules Veterinary Center in Tracy, CA. Little did I know, I was not only adopting a new pet and a best friend, I met the dog who saved my life that day.
Shortly after adopting Nietzsche I was diagnosed with PTSD and suffered from panic attacks. Surprisingly, this amazing puppy began reacting to my oncoming attacks and would alert me when my anxiety was rising. She would rub on me, lick my face or bark at me to get my attention. After doing some research and speaking with my doctor, I decided to get Nietzsche certified by the state of California as a psychiatric service dog and now she accompanies me everywhere I go. In 2009 I was diagnosed with Lupus, an autoimmune disease that attacks my joints, organs and muscles. As my Lupus progressed, I began training Nietzsche to perform new tasks such as providing stability and picking up items that I may have dropped or cannot reach. Amazingly, she picked up on these new tasks with ease and genuinely is excited to do them for me.
She is registered on the Photo Labs canine models registry and has been featured on Good Day Sacramento, CBS evening news, Dog Trekker and Retriever Life Magazine websites. She has her own Instagram page with over 950 followers and an increasingly popular Facebook page (Nietzsche the Dock Diving Service Dog).
Nietzsche loves being active and interacting with people. She helps to bring awareness even when we are dock diving!