US Marine Charlie Schletz gets comfortable with his precious cargo Lydia for the 1073 mile drive to Kansas City and her new owner, US Marine Sam Collins.
Travels with Charlie
Over a year ago, Sam Collins was an in-patient at the Kansas City VA Hospital undergoing treatment for cancer. Sam had had one type of cancer or another for going on 10 years straight. When the Hearts 4 Heroes US (H4HUS) truck pulled into the parking lot of the VA, he had no idea he’d meet someone that day that would change his life.
The H4HUS team put on a four-day clinic for inpatients and outpatients at the Kansas City VA. Alongside ten therapy dogs the H4H staff introduced the Veterans to canine assisted therapy. Sam figured he would attend; if for anything to break up the monotony of the VA. It was at this clinic he first met the three legged therapy dog Lydia. Often you’d find Sam and Lydia off to the side, off in the corner, or out in the middle of a field away from the larger group. Sam and Lydia’s relationship grew into one that he hadn’t felt in years.