Film poster for "BY MY SIDE".
Film poster for "BY MY SIDE".
When three veteran families struggling with PTSD lose all hope, service dogs help them heal and imagine the possible


Regular price $129.00

BEST SERVICE TO HUMANITY ACHIEVEMENT IN FILMMAKING - Alexandria Film Festival | BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY - United Nations Association Film Festival | BEST U.S. DOCUMENTARY - San Francisco Short Film Festival | MOST INSPIRATIONAL FILM - Oregon Documentary Film Festival

Service Dogs • Mental Health • Lifelines to Veterans • Secondary PTSD Within Veterans Families • Human-Animal Bond • Suicide Epidemic Among Veterans • PTSD Awareness • Invisible Disability • Military Sexual Trauma • Moral Injury Among Veterans

Date of Completion: 2023 | Run Time: 30 minutes​​ | Language: English | Captions: Yes | Includes: Transcript & Study Guide | Director: Vicki Topaz | Producers: Vicki Topaz & Michael Collins | Editor: Dana Laman | Composer: Andrew Dost | Story Consultant: Eric Daniel Metzgar

BY MY SIDE tells a story of hope and possibility in an intimate portrait of three veterans suffering with the invisible wound PTSD, the most prevalent and unhealed wound experienced by veterans. Approximately 20% of those who served in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars are still haunted by visions, chased by enemies they can never outrun, and tortured by the fear that they are now the enemy. Through intimate interviews with the families and revealing footage of bonding with their service animals, the film demonstrates how wo/man’s best friend mitigates the psychic scars imprinted on those who have been in service to our country. BY MY SIDE celebrates our veterans and their love of country and family. And shows how and why service dogs – who match their loyalty and commitment – can heal broken hearts and quiet the wars within. That is the message our veterans and their families want others to know. There is hope and it can be found on the end of a leash.

Victor Lenski, Engagement Manager | Salesforce Professional Services, Salesforce
"Our viewers were very clearly touched and moved by the documentary. The reality of invisible wounds became a primary topic of conversation after the session, and we expect this focus to continue as we strive to continue supporting our veteran community.”

Lynn Williams | Clinical Psychologist, Australia
"By My Side is an accurate and authentic portrayal of how Service Dogs can positively change the lives, for Veterans and Families and also for Society as a whole. Having been a supporter of Service Dogs for Veterans for a very long time, I was moved by this Film. Yes, training for both the Veteran and their Service Dog is essential. Very few scientific studies are available and yet there is a huge amount of anecdotal evidence to support the value of Service Dogs." 

Dr. Elena Klaw | Professor of Psychology, Director, SJSU Center for Community Learning & Leadership, Director, Veterans Embracing Transition (VET) Project, San Jose State University
"This film is so powerful that it clearly deeply affected the audience members and allowed the panel members to connect with them directly about essential mental health issues.”

Colonel Sam Whitehurst | U.S. Army (Ret.), Vice President, Programs & Services, Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services, NY
"You can’t talk about veterans without talking about our families.”

Anne Dunsmore | President/Founder, Angel Force USA
“BY MY SIDE is opening up peoples’ hearts”

Senator John Laird | 17th Senate District, California
“BY MY SIDE is a reminder that there are many veterans who have faced the physical and mental traumas of service and war, but were able to overcome and achieve a sense of hope with the help of their service dogs."

Jack Ravin | Vietnam Veteran, US Army, Veteran Advocate
"My service dog Lucy has saved my life so I can save others.”

Doug | Veteran, Wisconsin
“It’s a strange feeling to see and hear your precise thoughts and words come from somebody else’s face. What’s equally strange is to learn how completely *universal* those same thoughts and words are among us.”

Gemma Uribe-Cruz | USMC veteran spouse, Counselor/Instructor / Veterans Program Services / Student Affairs, Hartnell College
"As a military spouse, I felt heard, seen and validated. Thank you to our veterans for your vulnerability and willingness to share and educate our communities on the challenges you face daily, thank you for showing us all that recovery is possible and there is always room for HOPE. You are greatly appreciated."