Why do we need a service dog, you ask? Every day life is not made to be accessible to people like me, and a service dog will help.
Some of you know that I have Muscular Dystrophy. Some of you do not. But the reality is that things are getting more difficult for me the older I get. I have always tried to do as much on my own as possible, but it is becoming more apparent that I am not always able to do it on my own. Earlier this year, my family and I relocated to the Southwest in an effort to get to a climate that is more forgiving for someone with my physical limitations. Flatter terrain and a virtual lack of winter are big plusses and I am able to be active year round again, but I am still facing challenges even in the nicer weather. Shortly after moving to Arizona, I fell. And I couldn't get up. Even with help from my wife. We were in public at a local park with my daughter, and I needed assistance from a friendly stranger to get me back on my feet, literally. For a week, I limped around. My head hurt from where I hit it on the ground and my legs were scratched up. For more than a month, I've felt like I broke, or at least bruised, my tailbone. And this wasn't even a serious fall; I was lucky not to sprain or break anything. But I could have. More than anything, this fall has shown me that while independence is great, accessibility is even better.
A mobility service dog will train to assist with tasks such as:
*picking up dropped items,
*reaching objects needed on lower shelves,
*stability assistance in times of losing my balance and when stepping up on a curb or stair,
*assistance when standing up,
*as well as medical alert if/when I fall.
Due to the various demands put on the dog as well as the needs of our family, a specific breed, size and temperament is required, making the search a difficult and tedious task. However, we have managed to find a breeder of standard size labradoodles near by that has a healthy breed that meets/exceeds the service dog requirements. They also happen to have a dog available that meets the ideal temperament requirements for being a service dog. We are hoping to start by raising enough funds to be able to purchase this dog ASAP, and then further fund raise the remainder asked in order to help pay for the training and harness equipment.
Service dog training will happen locally (Tucson) at a very well known and recommended service animal school. It will take a little over a year, but at the end, the dog will be a licensed service animal. We also will need to purchase a specialized harness for stability support, and that cost is included in what we are hoping to raise.
Accessibility is more than just having a ramp somewhere on the sidewalk and a button to open a door. It is something that everyone should be able to have. Unfortunately for some it requires costly adaptations, such as a service dog, which is not covered by insurance or other forms of funding. We don’t like asking for help, but we need it. The service dog is a necessary measure for my safety and my family’s peace of mind. It will enable me to more safely get onto the sidewalk when crossing the street, to be able to perform more tasks at work without putting my back out, to be more independent at home, and to be able to participate in more adventures with my family without fear of becoming stuck or falling and getting hurt.
Thank you to everyone that is able to support us on this adventure. Every little bit is a big help!
DonationsSee top donations
- Rachel & Alan Fall
- Kelli Miller
- Kelli Miller
- denise doherty
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more