NPR

How Dogs Are Lending A Paw To Uganda's Traumatized War Veterans

In Uganda, dogs are not typically pets and are often feared. But one young man decided to see if therapy dogs might be helpful for traumatized veterans of the civil war.
Watmon and Ogen Rwot sit next to his mother in the yard of his family's compound. Source: Julian Hattem for NPR

These days, Charles Watmon shares his bed — a few sheets of thin, white foam on the concrete floor of his thatched-roof hut — with his dog.

It's not much. But to Watmon, 44, and his caramel-colored mutt, it's more than enough for a good night's sleep — and a welcome change from his past.

During the course of nearly a decade, Watmon fought on both sides of Uganda's brutal civil wars — first with the rebel group known as the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), then with the government.

The war ended more than a decade ago, after the ruthless rebel leader Joseph Kony and

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