Matt Duffy, who runs Duffy's Training Center for dogs out in Jeffersonville, is impressed by David Benson. “I like the company of animals much more than I like the company of people," Duffy says. "My good friends, my family, I love them, but I wasn’t nearly as empathetic toward the human condition as David has been all his life." Benson, who became Duffy's lead trainer at the center, didn't expect his love of dogs to take him much further.
Jump ahead to the present, where Benson's nonprofit, Dogs Helping Heroes, is steadily growing, pairing dogs with vets, first-responders and Gold Star families. It all started a few years ago, when he got a call from his sister that led him somewhere he hadn’t planned on going, which in turn led him to Trayce Harmon and his mom, Wendy Dickens; to Darren Bennett and the golden-eyed Hoss; to John Wells and Johnny Cash; to scores of inmates in a Kentucky prison; and, in the last few years, to a growing number of other men and women who say their lives will never be the same because of his work. And the funny thing is, it all sort of started with cats.
Read more about Benson, @dogshelpingheroes and the people whose lives they've touched by following the link in our bio.
Pictured: Benson (first two slides), and some of the dogs/people he has helped.