She heals her son’s depression and anxiety with this birthday gift!

She offers him his gift… he broke down!

Like for many soldiers retiring from duty, when veteran Peter Coukoulis returned to civilian life, things just weren’t the same. After serving five years with the Marine Corps., which included a deployment to Afghanistan where his unit suffered losses, he arrived home to Florida to find out his dog from childhood had passed away while he was gone. That was three years ago, upon his return to civilian life, Coukoulis began struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Side effects of PTSD can include anxiety, depression, flashbacks, insomnia and/or isolation. The heroic 26-year-old veteran found it difficult to reconnect with normal, everyday life.

After watching her son battle PTSD, Coukoulis’ mother Dena came up with a brilliant plan. She secretly bought a tiny beagle pup for her son, knowing the dog would help her son’s treatment by serving as his loyal service animal. A few weeks before Christmas 2016, Peter celebrated his birthday… the Marine’s family gathered around him at the kitchen table and handed him a wrapped box with a big red bow. He gave the box a knowing look, almost as if he knew what was waiting for him inside. But the second he peeked inside and saw those two adorable eyes staring back at him, he completely broke down!

A comforting gift!

Little did he know at the time how happy it would make him — and his tears are proof of that. In that moment, he knew his life was about to change for the better. Dena thought that having a loyal friend by his side, like a dog, could greatly help Peter. And it’s no longer necessary to prove that animals have a comforting power. Note: The puppy was not in the ventilated box for long, and was safe the entire time. Look at Peter’s reaction on seeing the puppy, it’s very touching! I could not contain my tears!

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