Peter's Fight for a Service Dog

From the lead fundraiser:
Hello! My name is Melody McCracken. I met Gary, Mary, and their children at Nathaniel's Steakhouse.  We all became friends and I love the family. Peter really needs a service dog to have a better quality of life with his Autism and Epilepsy diagnosis.  Every seizure he has could be his last breath on Earth.  Also, he sometimes has coping issues that the dog could help with that is from his Autism.   His parents do not have a lot of help to even go to dinner by themselves.  I give them a night out every couple of weeks to help out and also just love to go hang out.  I have been there when Peter  has had meltdowns and tried to "get away".    It is so sad to know Peter, if he wants to go outside and can not wait to get to his destination,  will try to run out the front door with everything being secured, try to break out the front window , or sometimes climb over to the front seat and open the car door and run without knowing what he is doing before the back door even gets open.  Kids with Autism are fast and now I have seen it with my own eyes.   It then becomes a chase because he thinks it is a game.  This is so scary to me and I can not imagine how Gary and Mary feel everyday with this and also not knowing when he will have a Grand mal seizure again.  Can you imagine the fear of him running out and getting hit by a car or worse drowning like the autistic boy who recently passed that lived near us.   

The service dog, whose name is Rascal, will help all this and more.  Rascal is a golden-doodle and was born this past February so will be fully trained by next March.  During the training, Gary and Mary  will go down several times to  Canines 4 Hope in Palm City with all 3 children and then with just Peter so Rascal bonds with everybody and especially Peter.  It is through this training, done by the owner of the company Mr. Jason Devito,  that will allow Rascal to be a great service dog.   Once at home,  Rascal will make them aware of seizures before occurring.  He will also calm Peter down with his meltdowns and help him so he does not elope, as the Autism world calls running out.  Actually, hopefully with Rascal there will also not be any meltdowns or running away from people.   Rascal will be his best friend and protector like all dogs but add the service part that Peter needs so desperately.  When he is off duty he becomes the family dog to be loved just like your dog would.  Imagine the stress that will disappear from Gary and Mary's life to know their baby will be safe at home and at school.

Please come out and spend the day with us to not only fight for Peter's cause but for awareness about Autism Epilepsy and Canines 4 hope and service dogs as well.      Thank you for supporting Peter's fight for his service dog.  If you can not come out please donate here.  There is no donation too small all will help and be much appreciated.    God bless.

From parents Gary and Mary Ann:

Peter is a wonderful 8-year-old boy. He was born healthy with no complications until he was 14 months old when he had his first seizure. He was diagnosed right away by testing and was placed on medications. At the age of 18 months old, he experienced his first grand mal seizure on Palm Sunday, 2012, and they continued every 2 weeks even after raising his medications. During this time, it was also revealed that Peter has a genetic disorder. His grand mals increased to sometimes having 3 in a row. Every time he would have one, he would say something unique at one point telling the paramedic, "wow, what a ride!" Even though he would experience these horrible seizures, he always kept a smile. He regressed with potty training and with speech and motor skills, so we started him in therapy. In 2013, his seizures increased and though his medications were increased or changed, he continued to regress.  The same year, he was in VPK and lost his smile and ability to talk due to the medications and seizures. After adjusting medications and with some speech therapy, he was able to smile again and use some speech. At this point, he was diagnosed with Autism. 

He is now still delayed and was doing better with no grand mals, just partial seizures, and delay, until 3 months ago. His grand mals have now increased to every 3 weeks again and they are once again increasing his medications. Throughout this whole experience, we have wanted to get a service dog for Peter but could not afford one and no company had a service dog for Autism and seizures. We have now found a company that does have service dogs for both and it will help him with his coping skills and dealing with situations instead of running away from them and us. The dog would be able to warn when a seizure is coming on so that grand mals can be prevented helping him save brain cells, as he has already lost some due to lack of oxygen. This dog would be an amazing tool, not only for Peter but for the whole family. We not only have to travel to Stuart, Fl to pick up the dog, but we would need to have training time with the dog and Peter and have to carry insurance on the dog.

There will be a Benefit at Nathaniel's Steakhouse, 2485 S Park Ave, Sanford, FL 32771 (corner of 25th St) on Sunday July 14,2019 from 1pm-5pm. There will be food, music and games and all proceeds are for Peter's Fight for Rascal the service dog.   Thank you in advance for any donation that can be made here or in person at Nathaniel's any time!  All  of the donations will  go straight from the bank account opened for Peter's Fight  as a certified check to  the company Canines 4 Hope to get Rascal.  

There is another benefit in Taveres  at Gators dockside grill starting at 12 pm.  The address is 3351 w Burleigh Blvd.   This event  will also have great food and fun. Bikers are riding for Peter as well that day. 

If you would like more information about Canines 4 Hope, please visit the website www. Canines4  For information about Autism visit Autism  Finally, for information about Epilepsy visit the Epilepsy foundation at

thank you to all who came to the event today to support peter. I believe fun was had by all with great food thanks to the knights for the food and our sponsors Nathaniel and Mel


Nathaniel Wright
Sanford, FL

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