I have come to know 3 kinds of companions over the years.
- 1. A true friend that's always got your back no matter what, always prepared to go that extra mile for his buddy.
- 2. A four-legged friend. Trusting, loving and ready to take on the WORLD as long as it is at the side of his beloved human.
- 3. Lastly and maybe a bit unexpectantly... That piece of gear you call your EDC. Your go-to, that trust piece of equipment that carry whatever burden you place on it and seems to keep doing it forever.
This last companion is what I found in my OneTigris gear.
Every single piece of 1TG tactical equipment serves to enrich not only my adventure life, but every single day I grab my sling bag I know it holds the means to keep me through the day! When I slide my phone in its pouch I know I can trust it to be secure and protected. When I look down and read "Earn Your Stripes" on my patch I get motivated to go that extra mile and do that little better and at the end of the day reach for my bag the "Mama says I'm special" patch never misses putting a smile on my face. A smile I share with fellow commuters as we travel home, spreading a little warmth amongst tired strangers.
Sandspoor on OneTigris LiFE:
"It is not about the gear, but the way they change me that makes it the ultimate every day companion!"
Joseph Brigandi & Stella the SAR Dog
Stella and I lead a very fast paced and complicated life together as we are always on the job and our training day never stops. When we are not working, training, or enjoying our downtime together with my wife Debra, Stella is being trained as a professional therapy dog and for search and rescue operations. I’ve served in EMS and Fire for almost 30 years. I’m currently the EMS Coordinator for a municipal fire department in North Texas when I’m not practicing as a Counselor/Psychotherapist for The Counseling Center of Texas. We are a full spectrum mental health agency so I’m privileged to work with a wide range of clients and I specialize in first responder PTSD or complex PTSD, Youth and Adolescent Self Harm and Marriage and Couples Therapy.
As the director of the crisis response team for The Counseling Center of Texas, Stella, Debra (who is also a trained clinical mental health counselor) and I need to be ready to hit the road at a moment’s notice so here’s how we roll.
When Stella is on the job we use the Power Train Dog Harness, Bungee Training Leash and Dog Collar 02. It’s everyone’s signal playtime is over and we all have an important job to do. We work in Texas and it gets hot so we keep Double Dog Bowls in each car and I keep the Treat Tote close by when we are operational. Thanks to the folding bowl that comes with it I can more easily keep her hydrated and fed on the fly when she is out doing an extensive search. I often molly the double dog bowl to the back of the tote so I can have more options.
Keeping it all organized and readily accessible isn’t easy so we use the Ironclad Car Seat Organizer to make that happen. I don’t ever want Stella carrying unnecessary weight so we customize her harness for each assignment. She wears the harness without gear for her therapy assignments so its serves as a more of an “I’m working” vest and for search and rescue, mass casualty and active shooter situations we have the ability to completely load her vest down. This gives us enough mass casualty gear to stop the bleed for up to 12 victims complete with tourniquets, pressure dressings and quick clot bandages divided into three molly bags that are all set up for rapid detachment so I can hand a bag to another first responder allowing that person to potentially treat and stabilize up to four victims while I continue triage. The ironclad organizer packs in and out in seconds and once you set it up it stays set up so switching rides, rental cars, or tossing it into another bag for travel doesn’t really affect the contents and it aids in a seamless transition between assignments.
Joseph on OneTigris LiFE:
"Their gear allows us to seamlessly transition between everything we do and every aspect of our lives. It’s not about buying gear with more functions, it’s about enjoying life with more possibilities."
Mission 1 - OneTigris LiFE with Joseph Brigandi
Mission 2 - Trauma Kits for Field Use
Mission 3 - The Good, Bad and Ugly of Animals in the Therapeutic Process
Mission 4 - Suicide Prevention
Tony Spear aka BigT
The Early Years:
From the earliest I can remember when I was around pre-school age and I had a sand box in the back yard. I was interested in the outdoors, adventure and pushing the Limits. I can remember one time in particular when stayed out in that sandbox playing all day until my mom came to get me for dinner. I like most American children had it in my head that I could dig a hole to China. So with my plastic shovel I set off to do just that. My mom says I was in the hole, the hole was above my head, and that I could not get out on my own, but that I also did not want to quit as I thought I was just about there. From that point on I practically lived outdoors with the exception of school. I also had a healthy obsession with Indiana Jones, Rambo, Commando, and all other books and movies alike.
The Older Years:
My roots in adventure and outdoors did not subside as I grew. I continued playing outdoors, camping and playing army. Continuing to easily spend more time outside than inside each and every day. As I got older academics and athletics took over. Then after University I got back in touch with my outdoor soul with some more playing army.
Fast forward to my accident in 2011, to 8 spine and 5 orthopaedic surgeries from 2012 – 2017. And during that time becoming mobility disabled unable to work. Talk about difficult to comprehend. A one-time NFL prospect, seriously one of the strongest dudes around, very active, loved outdoor activities and loved the outdoors. Now I’m faced with using a wheelchair. Never working again. The list of never is too long to go through. We can call this Rock Bottom!
Crawling Off The Bottom:
Without my wife, parents, mental toughness, I honestly cannot say where I would be right now. I can tell all of you it is okay to dream as if you will live forever, but you really need to live as if you will die today, because you never know. Around the same time I was going through physical therapy in 2015 a very good friend suggested I look into service dogs. Much to my surprise I was selected and received my match Lennon some two years ago now.
And with BigLenny, much like the Phoenix I was reborn! I manned up! I accepted my disability, but also my own independence and freedom with my P.I.C.’s assistance. This was a time of discovery and change. Setting new goals and finding new hobbies. Beginning each day as if it were on purpose. Stop Hating and Start Participating! I have a million of these kinds of sayings. My off color humor has kept me going and together even at rock bottom. Personally I believe it is one of the reasons I’m able to deal with some shit that some others are not so able to.
BigT on OneTigris LiFE:
"OneTigris Life Gear is like Tactical Feng Shui: Gear with tactical elements and more functions. Basically do more with less in more parts of your life. OneTigris Life Gear is made for life!"
Mission 1 - OneTigris LiFE with BigT Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Mission 2 - Service Dog and Disability Etiquette
Mission 3 - Fake Service Dogs & Issues That Come with Them
Mission 4 - Weather Gear for Pups and Adult Dogs
Matt aka CommonFamilySurvival
Enrico Finazzi aka NorthWolf
Last but not least, we seem to have some wolves from Italy in this ambassadorship.
Intro by OneTigris - NorthWolf: The Czechoslovakian What?