"I am a psychotherapist with 40 years of experience, specializing in working with Police, Fire, EMS, and military personnel regarding the traumatic stress of their professions.
I believe I was born with a heart for first responders. My dad and three uncles fought in World War II and my grandfather was the Chief of Police in Westbourogh, MA, where I was born. I have geared my clinical expertise in the field of trauma, recovery, and resilience.
Tanka (pronounced Tawnka) is known as Tanka, the PTSD Service Dog. Tanka is a Sioux Indian name meaning great, big, or something greater than yourself. Tanka is all that! He works with me in the CISM Team, often visiting the 911 call center operators, participating in group debriefings, and getting folks to talk to him about their emotional pain.
I rescued Tanka as a stray puppy in Pleak, TX. A lady had found him trying to break in to her Chihuahua breeding pen and had no luck in finding his owners. He was approximately 6 months old and had the look of a diminutive Doberman. I have a long history with Dobermans so I scooped Tanka up he hasn't left since! I spent the next two years training Tanka as my PTSD Service Dog. During those two years, I paid special attention to Tanka's temperament, intelligence, characteristics, and behavior. He didn't fit the description of 'Chihuahua Mix' that he was given by the vet. So, I had his DNA done and it came back as Rat Terrier. That fits him perfectly!
I often wonder… who rescued who? I think it was an equal opportunity rescue!"
Our thanks and appreciation to Sherry for appearing in the 2018 Red White & Rescue Calendar and for serving our community!
Order your own 2018 Red White & Rescue Calendar now! You can also stop by Special Pals to pick one up, or join the shelter at any of their community events to purchase your own. Follow us on Facebook!
Sherry Cardinal, Clinical Director, FBCSO Critical Incident Stress Management Team
Years in Uniform: 6
Pictured with her dog Tanka