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A Double Rescue


13 January 2022



Following my military career in the Canadian Armed Forces, I was diagnosed with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) after my overseas missions. I had a severe accident which caused me to be hospitalized for 2 and a half years because of multiple fractures (26) and the amputation of a leg and an arm.

I had recurrent nightmares, hypervigilance, stress, and anxiety. I lost all my bearings as well as my physical and mental health. When I left the hospital, I moved back to my hometown to give myself a chance to start my life over.

In September 2017, I had the chance to get my dog Toby, a big 2-year-old boy, trained by the Asista Foundation, located in the Centre Vétérinaire Laval. Toby is a mix of golden retriever and labrador. He was found homeless at 6 months old. After a year and a half of training, he was given to me by the Asista Foundation.

As soon as he was home, Toby and I immediately adapted to each other. He takes care of me, and I do the same with him. That’s our priority. I left home more often in the first two months we were together than I ever did in the two years before his arrival. Toby took me out of my isolation. Thanks to him, I now have a normal life and an extraordinary social life. Without him, I wouldn’t be alive. I have to say that Toby really did save my life.

Nutrition is really important to me, so it is also important for Toby. I want Toby to have the most balanced life possible, because with 2-3 hours of fun walks, 2-3 hours of work as a service dog, and nap and play time, he absolutely needs a superior food to have all the energy he requires to surpass himself during those rather tiring days. Therefore, I followed the Asista Foundation’s advice, and give Toby Nutrience SubZero food. He loves it and it shows perfectly by all the energy he has despite our intense days. A balanced life is what I want and prioritize for both of us.

My stress, hypervigilance and anxiety greatly diminished with Toby by my side. The focus is on him and not on me. People only see Toby and not my physical and mental disabilities. So, Toby’s mental and physical health are also essential because he must be alert to my symptoms. He’s always at my side because of my daily symptoms.

Toby is always ready to work and happy to follow me everywhere, e.g., on fun walks, at the gym, on flights, at the grocery store, to medical appointments, etc. It’s essential that his nutrition is complete and energizing. This beautiful 115-pound dog also needs energy to pull me through the snow because I’m still in a wheelchair. Also, since everyone is always focused on Toby, most people haven’t even noticed that I started walking again after 7 years in a wheelchair… To my greatest pleasure, Toby remains the centre of attention for everyone, which takes a huge stress off my shoulders.

I’ll say it again because it’s really important to me. Toby took me out of my isolation and gave me a perfectly normal and balanced social life. He saved my life, so he deserves the best: Nutrience SubZero food, and nothing less. Toby completely changed my life, so I want him to be a priority for me and the happiest dog this Earth has ever seen.

The Asista Foundation gave us both a second chance at life, so we plan on making the most of it, 100% of the time, and nothing less.

I want to thank Asista, Nutrience, Toby… and life.

Martin Plouffe


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