We are a national organization; supporting Military Veterans across the United States. Our mission is to address Veterans mental health by connecting and healing Veterans through the outdoors while incorporating an environment of peer based mentoring and counseling.
The “Black Dog” is a metaphor made famous by Sir Winston Churchill to describe his own struggles with depression and ill mood, and we use this metaphor to describe and champion a mission of supporting Veterans.
“Heal” VS “Heel”
Healing Veterans through the Outdoors is our mission and we provide an environment where Veterans can come together with other Veterans and speak a common language.
Sir Winston Churchill made famous the metaphor of the “Black Dog” referring to his own battle with depression or simply ill mood, but this image of “the black dog sitting on his lap” goes back centuries before Churchill. The black dog is used as a metaphor for depression and mental health in that the dog can be controlled, managed, and treated.
The HEEL command used commonly in dog training simply means the dog must walk directly next to you instead of behind or in front of you. The dog is required to keep pace with you, only stopping when you stop and walking when you walk. We use this as our own metaphor for giving Veterans the environment to heel their own personal black dog. The environment is one filled with other like minded Veterans who themselves struggle with their own mental health but who in an environment of other Veterans can feel freedom to express and seek help.
Joshua S. Hobgood is the Founder of Black Dog Hunting and serves as President and Chief Executive Officer. He is a decorated veteran and Non-Commissioned Officer of the United States Marine Corps (2000-2005), and serves as a Peer Mentor during Black Dog Hunting‘s outdoor events!
Stephen A. Simpson is the Co-Founder of Black Dog Hunting and serves as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. He is a retired Lieutenant Colonel, decorated veteran of the United States Marine Corps (1989-2009), and serves as a Peer Mentor during Black Dog Hunting‘s outdoor events!
Ashley N. Hobgood serves as theTreasurer for Black Dog Hunting.
Carrie Simpson serves as the Secretary for Black Dog Hunting.