We are starting this fundraiser in hopes of raising enough money for a service dog for our daughter, Sophie. Sophie turns 18 very soon and would love to know that the service dog she needs to help her navigate her future will soon be hers.
Sophie is an amazingly bright, talented, strong and kind young lady. She has always loved and cared for animals from pet rats to cats, poultry, horses and our beloved dog, Jake, whom we lost to age and cancer last year. (That's Jake enjoying his last ice cream cone in the main picture and Weenie, her snuggle kitty, below.)
She deserves to reach for every dream and to enjoy her life to the fullest. Last year she earned straight A's as a homeschooled, dual enrolled student at the local community college. She began acting. She was exploring career and university options. But, she was also very, very ill. We didn't know how ill until her & our world came crashing down last Spring as she pushed herself to complete her finals while barely being able to walk and later having no memory of those days.
Sophie was diagnosed with Lyme disease & co-infections, Strep and PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Strep aka post strep encephalitis). She is also recovering from an eating disorder and deals with Complex PTSD, serious increased anxiety and OCD as a result, and has Aspergers.
This service dog will help Sophie reclaim her life with the added sense of support and security a mental health service dog can provide. Her dog will be trained to alert to increased stress levels, anxiety, tics & stimming to help interrupt and prevent meltdowns and panic. The dog will also be able to provide deep pressure therapy and blocking to provide a bit of a barrier from overwhelming situatuations and PTSD or sensory overload triggers.
We have identified a local experienced, qualified trainer and behaviorist who will work with Sophie to assess potential dogs and train from basic training and canine good citizenship through specific task and public accesss training so that she has the best chance at a successful partnership. While we have always adopted from local shelters or rescues, and Sophie would love to do the same with her service dog, it is likely that in order to find a puppy or dog suited to service work we will also need to be open to looking to experienced breeders for her perfect match.
Funds from this campaign will be used for the adoption or purchase of her service dog, professional assessment and training and any necessary equipment. Thank you so much for any support whether through donations, sharing or positive energy! We can use it all. ♡♡♡
Help spread the word and help Sophie receive this amazing gift of a service dog for her birthday!