Dennis Fetko, "Talkin’ Animals with Dr. Dog"
Dennis joined the Army in 1964, one week after graduating high school. His training led him to the famed 101st Airborne Division as an infantryman. While on patrol as a member of the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam, his squad was ambushed. Command fell to Dennis, who single-handedly destroyed two enemy positions, one of those with a grenade as his rifle jammed. He was awarded for his valor, merit and achievement.
After returning home, Dennis began a long struggle with the effects of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Dennis earned a degree as a Doctor of Human Behavior/Behavioral Psychology and became the successful host of the popular local radio show, Talkin’ Animals with Dr. Dog.
In 2007, his life was turned upside down as his home in Poway was destroyed by the Witch Creek Fire. Although he was able to purchase a new, smaller home with the insurance proceeds, it was not functional for him. He found himself in a position he never imagined: he would like to make lunch in his own kitchen but cannot do so. His motorized wheelchair barely fits in the small galley kitchen, damaging the cabinets and making it virtually impossible to prepare his own food.
NOLAH worked with a local architectural firm, local contractors, and building supply companies, to make Dennis' dream come true. The galley kitchen was expanded and made wheelchair accessible. The old cabinets and appliances were replaced with ADA-compliant equipment and cabinets. Thanks to our wonderful donors and sponsors, Dennis' kitchen is now fully accessible. Cooking has become an important part of Dennis' life, assisting him with managing his PTSD symptoms as well as making it possible for him to remain safely in his home.