Service Dog for Our Daughter

For the last few years, our daughter, Ashley, has been struggling with severe anxiety and depression.  Ashley has extremely bad panic attacks that are completely incapacitating.  She keeps pushing herself to confront triggering situations, but each panic attack makes it harder and harder to try again.  What we've learned through supporting Ashley is that while the anxiety is a huge part of her struggle, it's not the worst part.  According to multiple of Ashley's recent therapists, Ashley is presenting traits of bipolar and borderline personality disorder.  While they feel it is too early to pin a specific diagnosis on Ashley because of her age, her struggle isn't any less painful. It has gotten progressively worse even though we've been exhausting all available treatment options.  We've been to multiple therapists, multiple psychiatrists, and months in multiple treatment programs.  More recently, Ashley has had to endure two months of hospitalization, making this the second time in a year.  

The good news is we think we are finally on a positive path in a treatment program that is promising to finally provide Ashley the skills she needs to gain control and independence.

Our current doctor has recommended a psychiatric service dog as a critical component in Ashley's treatment.  A psychiatric service dog (PSD) is capable of detecting Ashley's emotional responses before she or other people can.  The dog is then trained to take action by:

a) removing her from the triggering environment
b) calming her through pressure
c) providing panic prevention by circling her in crowds
d) nudging/licking her to disrupt disassociation

We are fortunate to live close to DogsDowntown, an established Service Dog training organization with experience in training PSDs for handlers like Ashley.   We've even been blessed to have a suitable PSD candidate donated.  Her name is Olli, and she's ready to begin training in the next few weeks.  Unfortunately, while the cost for DogsDowntown's services to train the dog are very reasonable, it's still a significant cost that we weren't prepared for... especially coming off of a series of medical expenses from Ashley's recent two months of hospitalization.

For those who are able, we would appreciate any donations of any value to help us help Ashley.  Prayers are always welcome too.

(In the photo is Olli, a german shepherd puppy that was donated to become Ashley's PSD.)

http://www.dogsdowntownva.com/

Donations

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  • Anonymous 
    • $780 
    • 33 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $320 
    • 35 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $320 
    • 36 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $640 
    • 36 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $440 
    • 38 mos
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Organizer

Kasia Shaw 
Organizer
Wilmington, DE
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