I was hired as an Investigator for the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB), on January 2017 by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). At that time, I requested a "reasonable accommodation" for my Service Dog, Jäger, who assists me with mitigating my PTSD symptoms. While this sometimes presents its challenges in the field, I have found the support of my Supervisor and co-workers to be overwhelming! I believe we are the first handler-K9 team to be working in the investigative field. Jäger went through the academy with me, and I graduated on April 2017. Since then, I have been working with my mentor and gradually assigning cases on my own. I was very anxious and apprehensive on how we would be welcomed into the agency. It was unfamiliar to many, and there were a lot of questions and concerns. But, I have to say, NBIB has shown me that they are one of the best agencies to work for. I hope that going through this process will help others struggling with PTSD and that are considering the use of a Service Animal. I also hope that it could raise awareness and education in the public as well.
I don't know where I would be without my Service Dog, so I am so happy to be working for an agency with so much support!