Greenfield police Lt. William Gordon suffered from post traumatic stress disorder after an incident back in 2010.
"As police officers, we have to go on some bad calls. Sometimes those bad calls replay in your mind over and over," said Gordon.
Things were so bad, he couldn't go to work.
"Sometimes with PTSD you can become socially isolated," explained Gordon.
That is until two four-legged friends walked into his life.
First came Rosie, a 140-pound Saint Bernard.
"The dog helped me by being there for me when I felt like I was all alone," said Gordon.
Rosie even accompanied Gordon to his treatment sessions and that's where he said he soon began to notice something.
"We learned that other police officers were being helped by her," said Gordon.
And at that point, he realized he found a way he could help his fellow officers who suffer from the disorder.
Gordon later welcomed Clarence, another Saint Bernard, into the family
The two pups would undergo extensive training to become psychiatric service dogs.
Eventually, they received a rank as police officers from the Greenfield Police Department.
Unlike other police dogs, Rosie and Clarence are used to provide comfort to first responders and victims who experience traumatic situations. But their duties would not only be needed here in Western Mass.
Rosie and Clarence traveled to Newtown, CT after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
"The firefighters told us they had been crying for 3 days and the first time they smiled was when they pet the dogs," said Gordon.
They also traveled to Boston following the twin marathon bombings.
And now for all that they have for some many men and women in uniform, Rosie and Clarence will receive the highest honors as the nation's top dogs.
They will be recognized as the first official police comfort dogs in the country.
"It wasn't us it was them and something about them that earned that award," said Gordon.
Rosie and Clarence will receive their awards on Tuesday, Dec. 2, at the Top Dog Gala in New York City.
Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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