Liam’s MOB is a bold effort to directly reach out and encourage more male participation on force free training programmes.
Whilst attending the recent Dog Bite Prevention Conference in Lincoln organised by Victoria Stilwell we came across a quite extraordinary young man. As is the case with these events one meets lots of people and sometimes it’s not till a bit later when time is taken to review these encounters that they can be fully appreciated. One such encounter was with Liam Landymore. His story is an inspiration and a testament to the life-changing power that dogs can bring about with the support and help of dedicated people.
Liam’s story began when he was just 7 years old. He suffered a traumatic event that would later lead to him suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
It wasn’t until Liam turned 14 yrs old he felt he could no longer put a brave face on his anguish and was soon diagnosed with PTSD and severe depression. The usual avenues for help were sought and failed, school was a challenge and panic attacks set-in. At this time the family brought a new puppy into their family, called Charlie, a Labrador X Springer and enlisted help from the charity Dogs Helping Kids. (DHK) Charlie went through all his puppy training, excelled and the charity selected Charlie to go onto their training programme to become a DHK School Dog.
However, Liam took a heart-breaking turn for the worse and twice attempted suicide. Rachael, Liam’s mum, contacted Tracey Berridge the founder of DHK and Charlie’s training was brought forward to support Liam on a one-to-one and help with his PTSD and depression Charlie became the charities first DHK Support School Dog. DHK also taught Liam about dogs, their history, their body language and how to train dogs.
As a mother Rachael has no doubt that Charlie saved Liam. Charlie stuck to Liam’s side day by day, being with him and helping deal with daily anxieties effecting Liam.
Liam found he excelled at training dogs and that it brought much joy to his life. Liam soon wanted to help DHK by publically and bravely telling his story. To give something back to the charity he raised money by having their logo shaved into his hair and by organising a team of 8 to climb the three peaks. Liam is now the Young Ambassador and teenage advisor for Dogs Helping Kids and attends teacher’s workshops with Charlie to showcase how Charlie has helped him.
Two years ago Liam and Charlie featured in a BBC documentary called Animal Saints and Sinners and after seeing this documentary the eminent Sarah Fisher met Liam and soon became a DHK’s patron.
Liam and Sarah got on like a house on fire, sharing Liam’s ideas on what he wanted to achieve, together they formed Liam’s M.O.B (Men on Board) to promote men to become positive reinforcement trainers. Also, as more men and boys are bitten by dogs, to promote dog/child safety.
The project has recruited some prominent support from the likes of Steve Mann from the IMDT, Nando Brown from In the Doghouse and Anthony Head, actor and Sarah’s husband, to be part of his main team, to help spread the message. Recent recruits to the team include Chirag Patel, Jordan Shelley, Gav’ Muldoon with support also being offered from Victoria Stilwell.
It is widely recognised that conditions like PTSD, depression and other mental health challenges are difficult for adult men to deal with. For a young man this must have been even more testing, Liam deserves recognition for using his experience to find a really positive outcome which may help others.
Liam noticed the majority of students on courses he has attended are female and sees Liam’s MOB as an opportunity to address this balance As supporters of force free methods K9WH supports Liam’s worthwhile ambitions. Good luck buddy keep us updated.
He has also designed a Liam’s MOB Pledge.
To get involved visit Liam’s Mob