twinkie is an amazing autism assistance dog for her partner and best buddy in the world, 10 year-old zach. their loving bond began in june of 2012 at an organization called 4 paws for ability located in xenia, ohio. since twinkie became a part of zachary's world just 18 months ago, she has helped him in so many ways. you see, she's a service dog specifically trained to help zach manage our ever-changing-world. twinkie is trained to help diffuse what's known in the world of autism as a meltdown. she's able to alleviate zach's anxiety and has given him the confidence to leave his home with greater ease. she serves as a "social bridge" between zach, his community and peers. and, she's also trained in a specialized skill called tracking which is scent-specific search and rescue in the event zach were ever to get lost.
on january 29 of this year, zach's family was given very unexpected and sad news. twinkie is in renal failure and has been given a prognosis of just 6 to 12 months to live...12 months being the best-case scenario. not only has this news been emotionally devastating to zach's family, but the cost of specialized veterinary care for twinkie has been extraordinary and will only grow as they continue to care for her in the coming months. in addition to mounting veterinary bills, the family will also need to fund another two-week trip to ohio in order to train with a new autism assistance dog for zach in early 2015.
zach and twinkie have their own facebook page called zach and twinkie: 4 paws of luv (https://www.facebook.com/zachandtwinkie4pawsofluv?ref=br_tf) .
by so candidly sharing their journey through this page, they have touched many hearts both near and far. we have laughed with them, we have cried with them, and now, i believe we should also reach out to help them through this difficult time. please join me in my efforts to help zach, twinkie and their family. all donations will be given directly to zach and twinkie's family to help with twinkie's veterinary care (via their care credit account for red bank veterinary hospital) and the cost of their next trip to 4 paws for ability. every donation through gofundme is tax-deductible. i know any help you are able to give them will be appreciated more than you can imagine.
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