After much consideration and a doctor's prescription as a medical necessity, the Ko Family is set to begin the process of getting a service dog to aid with Jennifer's many and growing needs, relieve some of the burden on Chris (family caretaker), as well as support the family emotionally. They plan to purchase a pup (a Doberman which is the only working breed that won't aggravate Jen's symptoms further) and put him/her through boarding school to be trained as a psychiatric and mobility service dog.
A psychiatric service dog will learn tasks to support Jennifer during a mental health crisis, protect her from harm, and potentially stop an attack. This type of training can keep her safe when alone, give her more freedom to engage outside their home as well as aid other symptoms like insomnia.
A dog trained with mobility tasks will assist Jennifer in standing up, help her keep balance when walking, guide her out of overstimulating environments, retrieve dropped items, and even remind her to take her copious amounts of medicine! This type of training can also give her more freedom in public spaces as well as free Chris up to wrangle their 5-year-old daughter.
Living as, and with, a person with severe physical and/or mental challenges can cause chronic stress and even trauma, especially to Chris who is juggling work, parenting, managing the household as well as caretaking. A trained service dog can give emotional support, calm, and grounding, not only to Jennifer but for the whole family.
A healthy dog with these skills is an expensive investment and getting it right the first time is important for the health of the family and the dog. For these reasons, the Ko family has found a specific breeder and professional training program where training begins early in the pup's life.
The cost for a service dog when everything is factored in is much higher than the Ko family can afford. The specialized training/boarding alone will cost almost $33,000. Estimates for purchasing a purebred puppy from a breeder, vet fees, supplies, and necessary home modifications will put the total expense over $40,000 this year.
See attached video from Animal Planet to learn more about how these brilliant dogs can help!
To learn more about the Doberman breed check out Doberman Planet on YouTube .
You can also follow the Ko Family's journey via Jennifer's Instagram page .
Please donate whatever you can to help this incredible family drastically improve their day to day living. Thank you.
- Jacob Lee
- Angels Tennis Club
- Lareesa McMonigle
- The Moms We Love Club
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