Help Support Elise’s Service Dog of Hope

My name is Elise. I’m an aunt, nanny, and student, and I struggle with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I’ve been battling this and pursuing extensive and costly treatments for the majority of my life (17 years), and my doctors are now recommending a psychiatric service dog out of medical necessity.

A service dog is my final chance toward a life worth living. My treatment team anticipates that it will help me lead a better quality of life and enable me to function at a higher level; specifically throughout my evenings and weekends when work and school are not a distraction. It will also serve as a loyal companion and provide emotional support since I am single and really isolated thanks to my symptoms. This dog will be life-saving.

Despite numerous medication trials, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Somatic Experiencing, expressive arts therapies, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, healing dance, strict diet modifications, exercise, acupuncture, herbs, supplements, and countless other wellness efforts, I have yet to make a significant amount of progress. I’ve truly tried everything.

I've missed out on a huge chunk of life, developmental milestones, and opportunities because of this disorder, and I'm beyond ready to move forward. My wish is to start living instead of feeling like I'm barely surviving. I'm absolutely exhausted from fighting for my life on such a consistent basis and desperate for an olive branch. Service dogs can mean the difference between remaining “stuck” or alleviating, and possibly eliminating, my certain obstacles. This ray of light is HUGE and a much needed and welcomed source of confidence after fighting for recovery for so many years.

A service dog is different from an emotional support dog by being specifically trained to do tasks that are highly personalized and unique to a person's needs in order to alleviate symptoms (such as providing deep pressure therapy, turning on lights, and providing physical barriers). They are also allowed access to public areas as covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If a service dog could help me thrive, then I have to try everything possible to make this happen. It could truly be a saving grace.

Here’s the kicker: service dogs are outrageously expensive. Anyone who has the medical clearance to pursue one typically has to utilize fundraising since health insurance companies do not cover them. All of the nonprofit organizations I’ve applied to have never replied, denied me, or have 2 to 4 year waiting lists, and everything is indefinitely on hold due to COVID-19. Charitable prison inmate service dog trainings aren’t operating, either.

There’s no way I can afford or do this on my own, and I’d be eternally grateful if you could help me reach my goal. Any little bit helps and anything is appreciated! If you're unable to contribute at this time, please consider sharing this link on your social media channels to help spread the word. That would help a lot!

Another option is purchasing one of my “Dogs are cheaper than therapy” shirts, tote bags, or mugs to help my fundraiser instead:

Dogs Are Cheaper Than Therapy Shirts 

Dogs Are Cheaper Than Therapy Tote Bags 

Dogs Are Cheaper Than Therapy Mugs 

Thank you so much in advance, and thank you for taking the time and care to read my story!

*I am a singer, and to thank you for your contribution, I would love to show my appreciation and make a video of a song for yourself, a family member, or friend, who many need some cheer during this difficult season.

**If you prefer that I virtually entertain your kids with songs/books/games for half an hour with my Mary Poppins nanny skills, I'd love to give back by doing that, too!

***I can even help you with Disney vacation planning, pro bono!

****In case you’re interested, here’s the program I’m working with: Love in the Lead


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Elise Ramirez 
Matthews, NC

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