Hello friends, family, supporters, and potential donors,
My name is Martha; I am 49 years old and have lived in Chatham-Kent for over 25 years. Although I live with complex disabilities, often preventing me from participating in paid employment, I have always volunteered my time and skills in the community. I have volunteered with many organizations in various positions, including Volunteer Driver, Board of Directors Member, Foundation Director, Social Gaming (bingo) volunteer and many more. As an active 19-year member of the Thamesville LaSertoma (Service) Club, my favorite sponsorships are ones with personal needs, a family facing medical crisis needing funds for out-of-town medical travel, an individual in need of assistance with the patient portion of their Gov't funded wheelchair, and the young couple who need everything replaced after a devastating fire.
Well, now it's my turn to ask for help, and the ask is BIG.
Some of you knew Bently, a beautiful black standard poodle; he was my first service dog who passed away last year. He accompanied me all over the community and was my partner, helper, and companion for 10 years. Impeccably trained to assist me with my complex health and multiple disabilities, he often saved my life from medical crises. Having a service dog not only impacted my day-to-day life but gave me the independence, security and courage to seek 6-weeks of specialized PTSD treatment in St. Louis, Missouri, attend grad school in Toronto for a year, and take my bucket-list trip to Walt Disney World.
The last year and a half of being without the assistance of a service dog has been extremely difficult. I have faced a significant increase in disabilities and chronic health symptoms, having to further access an already over-taxed healthcare system. A new service dog will take me back to enjoying and thriving in life instead of just surviving. I will have improved health stability, reducing my more severe symptoms and regaining some lost independence.
Last week I was approved for an upcoming litter of Standard Poodle puppies due mid-December, one of which will be chosen after assessments to be trained as my new service dog. I will be training with the same program that provided Bently’s maintenance training and renewed team certification after his first trainer retired. My new service dog will be trained with the same skill-sets Bently possessed, which included PTSD support and response, blood sugar alert and response, and mobility/dexterity tasks and assistance.
The costs of training a service dog are high, and there is no Government funding or health insurance coverage available. Currently, I am unable to work and rely on my disability benefits to meet my basic needs. I have used the little saving I had to pay for the deposit to secure my placement of purchasing a puppy. My total costs will be close to $20,000, including buying a suitable puppy, training program fees, multi-level obedience classes, extensive travel costs (weekly training is 140 km each way), veterinarian care, equipment, and supplies. (My campaign total will reduce as some donations will go directly to my training program, watch for updates!)
Please don't hesitate to contact me anytime for further information or questions.
Thank you for taking the time to consider my request; it is genuinely appreciated.
Anyone interested in following the progress of this campaign and my journey of getting my next service dog, I will post regular updates as events occur, e.g., puppy arrival, growth and training milestones and more.