Service Dog for Steven! (CCI)
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“Some angels have wings, others have tails.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. We love this expression used by our friends at Canine Companions for Independence! Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) is an amazing non-profit organization that works hard to enhance the lives of people with disabilities. They do this by providing highly trained assistance dogs as well as ongoing support to those who have received an assistance dog.
CCI is incredibly successful because of the tools and resources they use from breeding, puppy raising, training, and ongoing support for families. The dogs provided to qualified families provide an immeasurable amount of needed support. We are so honored that Steven has been afforded the opportunity to receive one of these “angels with tails!”
Steven is an amazing 16 year old boy. Like most young boys, Steven is beyond thrilled to have a dog of his own. His family is also thrilled to know this opportunity might give Steven a chance to have increased measures of independence and security. (Let’s not forget the sheer joy that a dog would bring to Steven – a boy who continually brings the same joy to everyone he comes in contact with!) Steven has already progressed through the initial screening process, which included an extensive application package (both personal and doctor’s references were included), phone interviews, and screening.
Thus – we are hoping to help the Griffin family raise some much needed travel funds to allow their entire family to play a role in the next steps of getting Steven his dog! As part of the application, placement and follow-up process, Canine Companions has invited Steven and his mom to California on a series of three separate trips. These trips help Steven’s family and CCI create a wonderful partnership, and provide Steven’s family with the tools, training, resources, and follow up needed for Steven to have a success story with this assistance dog. The Griffin family – however – believes that in order for even greater success to take place, Steven’s dad and sister need to join in on these trips. And we agree! If you’ve ever interacted with the Griffin family, you’ve witnessed each member of their family is absolutely key in Steven’s daily health, success, and well-being. His sweet sister, Emma, is crucial in helping Steven communicate and be understood in the world around him. The whole family desires to participate in these trips with Steven.
In addition to providing Steven’s assistance dog, Canine Companions will be providing two weeks lodging, daily lunches, and even some of the dog’s equipment! The bulk of the expenses surrounding Steven’s support dog deal with travel costs. It can be quite overwhelming for a single income family to begin to tackle the extra expense of the entire family traveling. But, we love Steven and believe that this “angel with a tail” is a Godsend! We earnestly hope that you join us in helping make a very special boy’s dreams come true!
We have also set up a Facebook page so that you can follow Steven on his journey. ‘Like’ our page for regular updates on the progress of this venture. https://www.facebook.com/cciservicedogforsteven
Steven is the most cheerful, polite, and enthusiastic young man you may ever meet! Even though he was born with Down Syndrome, it could never slow Steven down. While he remains largely non-verbal, he still has managed to earn his Purple Belt in Tae Kwon Do. In spite of having undergone over one dozen surgeries, he consistently greets each doctor, nurse, and tech with a smile and handshake!
Thanks so much for keeping up with Steven's journey toward receiving a service dog from CCI.
Summer has slipped right by and we missed our best opportunity for a car wash but between this page, the wonderful garage sale, the collection taken at the Hallmark Shop at the Chapel Hills Mall, and a variety of private contributions directly to Steven's family, I'm guessing that we are near the halfway mark toward our $9,000 goal! Of course we'll let you know when we hear any word from CCI about a particular dog of time frame, but right now we are in the waiting process.
Steven has overcome some serious health issues in the past couple of months, but is feeling much better and is of course still very excited and looking forward to receiving his dog.
Thanks again for caring about this awesome young man and his unique journey!