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Service Dog

$250 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 6 people in 6 months
From the time I was born, I’ve been a fighter.  I was born with closed spina bifida. There’s many characteristics of closed spina bifida also known as spina bifida occulta or spinal dysraphism. In my case I have an open hole at the bottom of my spine called a dermal sinus tract, and instead of having the nerves at the bottom of the spine end like a horses tail mine are bundled together in a mass called a lipomyelomeningocele. So at six weeks of age a surgery was performed to correct the spinal deformity. Throughout my 61 years multiple orthopedic and neurological issues have arisen along with numerous surgeries. I was able to have a professional career and enjoy what life has to offer until 2010. Beginning in 2010 I started to experience increasing weakness in my left leg and difficulty maintaining my balance while walking. On medical advice in September of 2011 I underwent a spinal cord de-teethering surgery along with a laminectomy. Which left me unable to return to my profession. Since then I have also been diagnosed with severe osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and am a breast cancer survivor. My poor balance and left sided weakness continues to worsen. Resulting in frequent falls, fear of injury and lack of confidence.


I am now in the process of being matched with a service dog. My new companion will help me with tasks by picking things up for me, bringing me things so that I do not loose my balance reaching for items. He or she will also be trained to help me when I fall, and to stabilize when I need to use stairs, get up/down on a curb, walk on gravel or uneven ground etc. And I would be much happier with a dog then my current cane at my side!


A service dog is an expensive endeavor but one that will help me to regain my confidence, engulf me with love and always be by my side. The projected cost to train my dog is $8500 so any amount you can spare will be greatly appreciated.


Denise
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Today, I am officially 5 months old! Since I was seven weeks old I have been diligently training towards becoming a mobility service dog for Denise. Together we attend weekly training sessions at the Dog Door Behavior Center in Asheville. My most recent training sessions have involved learning proper service dog etiquette and behavior in public areas. A few weeks ago I successfully passed my restaurant training and am now training at the local grocery stores and will be training at the mall during an upcoming training session. There is so, so much to learn!!
My training continues on a daily basis with learning to retrieve items along with learning the names of the items along with going to work several days each week.
My training is an expensive endeavor that Denise is struggles to pay for, so if you have any spare change that you would like to donate towards my training both she and I would be so appreciative as my training is estimated to cost $8500 by the time it is completed around the time I turn two years old.
If you have any questions about my training I know Denise would be happy to answer them.

Guinness

I am 5 moths old today!
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His training is expected to last for approximately two years , yes there is much to learn before his actual mobility harness can be worn his bone structure will need to be fully developed.
Guinness’s training over the two year period is estimated to be $7500 - $8000 in addition to the everyday cost of providing veterinary care and quality food for him to develop correctly. All donations regardless of amount are appreciated in helping to pay for his training. Donations can also be made directly to The Dog Door Behavior Center at 828.656.8305 and speaking to Emily.

I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have about Guinness, his training or myself if you have them or about service dog training in general.

Denise

Here is a picture of Guinness patiently practicing his good behavior at a local restaurant.

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Guinness and I continue with making daily strides in developing our working bond together. Together we attend weekly training sessions at the Dog Door Behavior Center in Asheville were we train on age appropriate tasks and behaviors. Even though Guinness may believe its all fun and games they are training techniques to each him the skills he’ll need as he becomes a model mobility dog.
Already at three months old he already spends his days laying by my feet at the office. Training doesn’t stop on our days off it includes learning to walk properly on a leash while avoiding the distractions, sounds and people. Learning proper etiquette behavior while shopping and laying quietly under the table at restaurants. Plus the everyday practice drills of sit, down, stay and come. When Guinness is “off- duty” he loves to romp, play, fetch along with his favorite thing ….digging!
His training is expected to last for approximately two years , yes there is much to learn before his actual mobility harness can be worn his bone structure will need to be fully developed.
Guinness’s training over the two year period is estimated to be $7500 - $8000 in addition to the everyday cost of providing veterinary care and quality food for him to develop correctly. All donations regardless of amount are appreciated in helping to pay for his training. Donations can also be made directly to The Dog Door Behavior Center at 828.656.8305 and speaking to Emily.
Hope you enjoy the pictures of life in the office and at play,
Denise
Enjoying practicing stay
Life at the office
I'm off duty!
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Today was a very important day for me & my mom. I started my first day in training as a mobility service dog at the Dog Door Behavior Center in Asheville, North Carolina. I am almost 8 weeks old. My mother was a registered English Cream Golden Retriever and my dad was a registered American Labrador.

I was selected and matched with Denise due to my fine temperament and larger bone structure. Already I am a healthy 13 pounds and the two of us are in love with each other!

I will be going to weekly training sessions at the Dog Door and given specific homework to follow through on several times each day. I will be learning how to retrieve dropped items, push buttons, open doors, close doors and even how to help with laundry! The stability and bracing portion of my duties will need to wait until my bone growth is complete around 18 to 24 months and verified by Dr. Schearer (my excellent vet).

My homework for this week is to be patient and take treats gently, to sit and begin learning down. Plus having fun and learning to socialize with people and playing with my toys!!!

If anyone would like to help pay for my very, very expensive education you can call the Dog Door directly at 828-656-8305 and make a donation to my college fund or through the Go-Fund Me page. I’ll keep you updated on my training, homework and pictures in the near future.

Puppy licks to all,
Guinness

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$250 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 6 people in 6 months
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LH
$50
Liz Heuser
2 months ago
FL
$25
Francesca Lewis
4 months ago
TT
$25
Teresha Thompson
4 months ago
CW
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Cherie Wrigley
5 months ago
CW
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