At the age of 3 my husband Steve had a severe loss of hearing during a nearly deadly battle with spinal menengitis. Growing up he used hearing aids to boost the hearing that he had. As he became an adult his hearing dropped even more and he was labeled profoundly deaf. Steve has always been committed to community service and became a volunteer fire fighter at the age of 18 and has continued following that passion up to today. He is also a fire safety educator and presents to any group interested in increasing their knowledge of fire safety. Steve has never let his hearing loss interfere with following his passion for serving his community.
Steve has the opportunity to get a service dog that will aid him in being aware of sounds that he might otherwise miss. A hearing dog is specially trained to cue her owner to sounds such as a doorbell, tea kettle whistle, person calling his name, smoke alarm, or someone breaking into the house... the help of a hearing dog is limitless!
Since our marriage we have seen where a hearing dog would be a wonderful addition to our family. I have diabetes and have struggled with night time sugar lows. If my sugar levels are too low I could go into a coma. Several times I have gone downstairs at night to test my levels and have brought my phone with me in case I needed help. The problem is that Steve may not feel the phone vibrating and won't wake up to help me. If we had a dog, I could call Steve's name and the dog would alert him to my call.
Having a service dog could potentially be life saving! It would certainly lessen our anxiety levels if we had a hearing dog and Steve would surely be able to sleep more peacefully if he were not always concerned about me or worried about the possibility of a night time break in or middle of the night fire.
The organization that we will be receiving the dog from provides the dog at no cost, however there are many expenses involved in getting to the point of receiving the dog. The canine training center is in California so the largest expense will be flying to California to the training site and staying for two weeks of training to be matched with a dog. We will also need a rental car for the two weeks that we are there. We have started saving but with the expense of travel these days some help would be greatly appreciated! If you would like to join with us in helping to obtain a service dog for Steve we would be so very happy. Any one that helps will receive a picture of "The Dog" after we come home!
- Terri Wilson
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