Josh & Champion

Ménière’s disease drastically changed Josh’s life by ending his military career and claiming part of his independence. After decades of dutiful service in the military, he faced an incurable diagnosis that impacted his future, confidence, and family.  

Upon being discharged from the military due to his diagnosis, Josh shared, “I joined the military when I was 17, and it was all I knew. I’ve been a strong individual my whole life and have never teared up; it was instant tears. It was a feeling I never want to feel again.”

Ménière’s disease is an inner-ear disorder and a chemical imbalance between the brain and body. It causes debilitating spells of vertigo and blackouts. These unpredictable spells diminished Josh’s independence and confidence: “I felt my freedom was taken away.”

With a heart to serve and a determination to prosper, Josh turned to Freedom Service Dogs (FSD) to help regain his independence and confidence. Enter Freedom Service Dog Champion, aka Champ, who more than lives up to his name. As a highly skilled service dog specifically trained to meet Josh’s needs, he brightens the day of everyone he meets. Champ provides life-changing assistance to Josh by finding help during his Ménière’s attacks, lying on Josh’s legs to calm and reorient him, retrieving Josh’s phone, and carrying his medication.

“Champ has become more than a service dog to me. He has become my wingman, my loyal companion, and my ‘furever’ best friend. I couldn’t imagine my life without him. Freedom Service Dogs not only provided me with a well-mannered, well-trained service animal, but they have also allowed me to enjoy life again,” shares Josh.

Josh graduated from FSD in 2019 and is beyond grateful for all Champ continues to provide him. He continues to serve his community as a firefighter and is thriving as a proud father.

“I will forever be grateful to Freedom Service Dogs and their mission. Veterans have provided the nation with the sense of security and peace of mind the public longs for. Freedom Service Dogs reciprocates that feeling to the veterans they place dogs with.

Contact Erin Conley at for all media inquiries.