The door opens to over a dozen dogs and their handlers as Sonny Madsen stands in the midst of it all, head held high, eyes bright and an infectious smile. She is definitely the leader of this pack.
This is Caring Angels Therapy Dogs, a small non-profit that has made a huge impact. The company, founded by Sonny, came about after the effects of war took hold of Sonny's daughter, and threatened to not let go.
A military family, the Madsens served their country and made sacrifices along the way. When Sonny's daughter returned to the states after being injured, she wasn't the same.
"The light had gone out," reflected Sonny.
But while visiting Arlington National Cemetery, a chance encounter with a vet and his service dog brought the first flicker of light that Sonny saw since before her daughter left on deployment. So Sonny thought she had it figured out - get her daughter a dog.
"I thought it would be easy, I could just go buy a service dog," Sonny said, her faithful companion Freya by her side.
But it wasn't that simple and there wasn't any available resources from the Veteran Affairs." - Sonny Madsen
Sonny, at the time living in Las Vegas, reached out to the local police department and was told to speak with an instructor from Sit Means Sit Dog Training.