Help Rachel get her service dog

As many of you know, I have been dealing with a number of chronic illnesses over the last several years which has led to long hospitalizations, required going on long term disability, and has led to the loss of some of my independence. The good news is I am much more stable today than i have been in years. I truly believe 2018 will be the year I finally get all my independence back and return to my career. With that said, one step to this, as recommended by my medical team, is getting a service dog.

A service dog is different from a pet or an emotional support animal, in that it will be trained to help me with very specific tasks that I struggle with as well as alerting me when my blood pressure if too low or my pulse is too high and I’m about to pass out. A service dog will allow me to be safe in my environment at all times and assist me with many of the tasks that aggravate my conditions. 

With all that said, service dogs to not come cheap. A fully trained service dog can cost between $10,000 and $30,000 when all is said and done. In addition, waiting lists for a fully trained dog are years long. The good news is there are many ways to train a service dog less expensively and jump the long wait lists. 

The first step is getting a great puppy who has the right qualities for service work. After speaking with several experts, a poodle mix is the best fit for my needs. In addition, I have some allergies and require a dog that will be hypoallergenic. I have chosen to go with a sheepadoodle (old English sheepdog and poodle mix) from a wonderful breeder in Utah. 

While my my puppy is only a week old, training began at day 3 when Krystyna, the incredible breeder started bio-sense “super dog” training to give him the best possible start in life. My puppy will be ready to leave mama and begin training here in Chicago on April 28th. 

The goal of this fundraiser is to raise as much as possible to help with the cost of my puppy, his flight to Chicago, vet and equipment costs and training. I have been saving up for this for quite awhile and have also been budgeting to make sure I can handle the costs of a service dog in training while I’m on SSDI (social security disability insurance). Anything I am able to raise will go directly towards the dog. 

Thank you you in advance for all your love and support throughout my healthcare journey. I really can never put into words how grateful I am for my extended community who rallies for me. I’m really looking forward to being healthy again and having my new companion by my side!

PS. If you would like to see the puppies, head to Instagram and follow @krystynawinn to see their birth, early training, and development into adorable balls of fluff.


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Rachel Marcus 
Chicago, IL
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