Given the mix of both mental and physical disabilities I live with, it has been recommended to me that a larger breed service dog would be most appropriate for my needs. So, I will likely be getting a Golden Retriever puppy as my service dog prospect, but that hasn't been 100% decided yet.
If you’d like to learn more about my personal journey and what had led me to this point of my needing a service dog, please visit my personal blog: Zealous Zebra
For those who may be unaware of the type of tasks and capabilities which Hartley would be trained to provide, the following is a realistic list of what my fully trained service dog would be capable of providing for me:
- Deep Pressure Therapy (dog lays on you to provide pressure to help calm anxiety and panic attacks, similar to the effects of a weighted blanket)
- find exit (lead me to an exit in a crowded place or when I'm having anxiety/panic attacks)
- block (use the dog's body as a barrier creating space between myself & others around me)
- find help on commmand
- interrupt behaviors (alert/interrupt me when I'm biting my nails, picking my skin)
- allergen detection
- allergic reaction alert and response
Why am I trying to raise $15,000+?
First off, because not just any dog can be a service dog. Significant behavioral and temperament testing has to be done before a puppy can be identified as a potential service dog candidate. Once selected, service dogs require extra training, extra vet care/testing/health clearances, special high-quality foods, etc.
A breakdown of the projected expenses for Hartley are as follows:
$1,500-2,500: Puppy must be a basic health and temperament tested puppy, from a quality breeder with health-tested parents that come from quality bloodlines
$3,500: first 2 years of basic vet care (vaccinations, spay/neuter, hip/knee/elbow testing clearance)
$2,500: back-up vet fund for unexpected illnesses or injuries
$5,000: 2 years of training with Scout’s Legacy Service Dogs
$1,500: basic dog supplies for the first 2 years (food, bowls, toys, treats, leashes/collars/head-leads, vest, patches, beds, crate, public transportation fees)
While $15,000 may seem like a large amount of money for this endeavor, the reality is that if I were to get a fully trained dog from a program, the trained dog would come at a cost of $15,000-50,000 for the dog alone. In addition, I have not found any program in the United States that will train a dog for ALL of my combined disability needs, so I feel that going with the owner-trainer/professional-trainer option local to me (Scout’s Legacy Service Dogs) is my best route of training Hartley and at the same time, will allow me to do so at a MUCH lower overall cost.
****Together, my parents and my grandmother have agreed to support this fundraising effort by committing to match a combined 40 cents per dollar of every donation made to this cause.****
Thank you for supporting me and Hartley and for helping me raise this money!
Please follow my and my future service dog, Hartley’s, journey on our blog: www.hartleyandhollyn.com and also on Instagram: @hartleyandhollyn