Let's Change a Life!



"Life can change in an instant". That's for sure! Whether an accident that paralyzes you or a diagnosis of a disease or even just a need for companionship, the life you once knew as "normal" is suddenly gone. Being diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy , the "normals" I had once known were both slowly and quickly taken away from me. It took several attempts to find new ways to pass time and receive the physical assistance needed to live my life as independently as possible. As a teenage girl, of course I wasn't crazy about some bulky device with wheels helping me while everyone just awkwardly stared... instead I wanted to be as socially accepted as possible and still get the help I needed. A physical assistance  dog was a perfect solution for my physical needs --as well as a new way to interact with people and only having conversation start because there was questions about "why I was in a wheelchair". Service Dogs of Virginia has given me the perfect dog for my life's challenges. 

I was placed with Gonzo in Feburary of 2013 and had to go to an intense training camp in Charlottesville VA, which is two weeks of me learning everything that Gonzo had learned since he was a puppy. It was such a cool experience to meet all the other dogs in training, but even cooler to see that the bond Gonzo and I shared stood out from any of the other dogs. Gonzo is trained to be a physical assistance dog so he is able to help me with daily tasks such as opening the fridge, pressing the handicap button to open doors, pulling my shoes off my feet, picking up anything that I drop, opening door levers to get into a room, and many other tasks.



 
Since placed with Gonzo, I've found that he actually does a lot more that physcially assisting me. He has become my companion... someone I can rely on to cheer me up and occupy my time, someone who has renewed my confidence in large crowds where I once felt so awkward, and given me a new sense of independence. I can never thank Service Dogs of VA enough for Gonzo, but the least I can do is "PAY IT FORWARD". It costs roughly $20,000 (yes 20k!) to raise just one service dog! Please help me help Service Dogs of VA in the process of training and preparing these dogs for changing someone's life! 





  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 72 mos
  • Jim &Kathy Wimmet 
    • $50 
    • 79 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $250 
    • 79 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $500 
    • 79 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $500 
    • 79 mos
See all

Organizer

Robin Pennell 
Organizer
Nash Grove, VA
SERVICE DOGS OF VIRGINIA INC 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.
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