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Zim the Service Dog Puppy

$1,447 of $3,400 goal

Raised by 12 people in 13 months
Thank you to everyone that has supported us so far! Even $5 or a facebook share makes a big difference <3

Hello, my name is Zim and I am a goldendoodle pup in advanced puppy training, I took an epic road trip up the ENTIRE east coast to go live with my new family where I'm attending additional training for the next 2 years so I can eventually service one of my family members as a service dog! Can you believe I'm only 4 months old and I've already traveled through 13 states?

I'm still growing and learning and I know I have a long road ahead of me, but I am very clever and brave, so I know I can do it! The cost for my training and adoption is pretty substantial, so my humans are hoping they can raise $3400 of the $6500 needed to help offset the financial sacrifice they're making to get me and put me through training so I can help one of them live a better life. Would you like to help support me and my family on this journey? Thank you! <3

And now, a message from my humans...

Goal: Our goal is to raise $3400 of the approximate $6500 total cost to adopt our service dog candidate and complete 2 years of training (this does not include medical expenses, food, transport, etc.). To date we have paid over $4000 and still have about $2500+ in training and testing to pay for, which Zim will continue to attend for the next 2 years prior to successfully passing as a working service dog. We are so GRATEFUL to those willing to help us lighten this immense financial burden as well as those willing to share our story!

We've had this question a lot so we wanted to start by sharing that we are working towards Zim becoming a psychiatric service dog, not a therapy dog or emotional support animal. They serve very different purposes and require different levels of training.

Mental health and being the victim of abuse is nothing to be embarrassed about, but it seems there's still some stigma about discussing certain topics and personal experiences. I'm not ashamed and I'm openly discussing my plan to improve my life and asking for help in the process.

You can read a slightly longer version of parts of my (Patrick's) story HERE , but to save space and time here is the abbreviated version for those stopping by:

While I was born and adopted at birth in the U.S., I was raised as the child of missionaries primarily overseas on one of the many islands in Indonesia. I have some fond memories of my time there, but there were numerous things that happened to me that no one should ever have to deal with. In fact, the worst things that happened were completely terrifying and almost cost me my life. I was put in terrible positions  no child should ever be faced with--abuse, exposure to violent environments and people, etc. It became a game of survival. As if that wasn't enough, after many years of living overseas my family and I had to flee the country during the riots that broke out in 2000 in Indonesia. People were being hunted and killed in the streets and our only option was to run for safety elsewhere. While I'm thankful that growing up overseas gave me a unique, global perspective, the effects of the abusive situations and people I came in contact with have stuck with me as much as the positive memories. Some scars simply take longer to heal. As a result, I have suffered from anxiety, depression and PTSD since I was a young teen. 

When I was younger I had no idea why I had panic attacks or what they were. I had no name for the fact I had flashbacks, sudden speech impairment/ticks or felt panic in certain environments. As a teen I tried to numb the feelings and suppress what I could--unsuccessfully. Then when I got older and got married, I began going to therapy regularly and after years of struggle finally had a name for everything I was going through--PTSD.


What is PTSD?

PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America describe PTSD as:

“A serious potentially debilitating condition that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a natural disaster, serious accident, terrorist incident, sudden death of a loved one, war, violent personal assault such as rape, or other life-threatening events.”

While my wife and I are big believers in therapy and medication to assist with alleviating some of the burden that is PTSD, we’ve been talking for some time about what more we can do to help me—especially as our sons grow. Even with the best combo of meds, not every day is great (in fact some weeks are completely miserable) and the side effects can be really disruptive … and even scary.

My wife began looking into PTSD service dogs in 2016 when she read about someone who had one. She did a lot of research, messaged people, etc. and in the end it started to look like it may be a really great option for us to pursue. I remember the first time my wife brought it up to me--my entire face lit up! Sometimes the possibility of hope can mean more than you'd ever imagine.

Psychiatric Service Dogs are specially trained to perform specific tasks that help assist someone suffering from PTSD from either breaking a panic attack cycle and/or getting out of a situation that triggers panic attacks. They can be trained to detect an oncoming panic attack and apply deep pressure, to guide you to an exit to remove you from a triggering situation, to retrieve medication in an emergency, etc. They can also assist with other day-to-day tasks that are otherwise difficult for those that suffer with PTSD. This is a really comprehensive list of some of the tasks some psychiatric service dogs can be trained to perform.


The Next Step

For individuals that pursue owner-training service dogs (the term used when someone who is helped by a service dog goes through training alongside their service dog candidate), the costs are great and the amount of dedication necessary is incredible. We will dedicate the next two years of our life towards reaching our end goal of graduating with a psychiatric service dog.

We put down a deposit at the very beginning of the year with a carefully researched program that had a stellar track record of producing service dog candidate potentials and we just received word that there should be a service dog candidate available to us this summer! Our service dog candidate puppy will need to complete advanced puppy training prior to coming home to us, which means he/she will come and live with us in August. To date we have paid approximately $3500.
Another $3000+ in training and testing will occur over the next 2 years prior to Zim hopefully successfully passing as a working service dog.


The Total Cost & The Debate on Fundraising

The total cost to adopt our service dog candidate puppy (who will have successfully passed certain temperament tests) and undergo around 2 years of training is approximately $6500, if things go according to plan. We're hoping to raise a little over half of that--$3400--to hopefully help lighten this financial burden a bit for our family.

This doesn't include all the vet care, food, transport, grooming, etc. This is simply the cost of adopting our service dog candidate and doing the necessary training. There is always the chance our puppy will need additional training if he/she requires it, but we're praying things progress smoothly.

We've thought long and hard about this decision, consulted with my doctors/therapist and while we know the costs are substantial, we still believe this is the best option to pursue. 

We weren't originally going to attempt to fundraise, but a handful of friends suggested that it was ridiculous to feel so uncomfortable attempting to, so we're putting ourselves out there! We are blown away and so grateful for the general support we have received thus far. 

Thank you to everyone that donates as well as those that help us share our story, we truly appreciate it!

Sometimes a dog is more than man's best friend--he's his saving grace.
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This last month has been BUSY! We are spending every day training with Zim in addition to attending class 1-2 times per week. He's progressing really well with his commands (sit, down, come, touch/targeting, etc.) and at nearly 17 weeks is working hard. We still have a very long way to go and a lot of expenses we are covering every week. We're hopeful we can continue to raise support to help offset some of this burden. Thanks to all those that have continued to support us in this journey! It means a lot to us <3
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If you follow us on IG (http//: www.instagram.com/familyadhd) then you probably already saw our crazy trip down and back to bring Zim home! If not, stay tuned for a full post on our blog. We are now officially back, Zim is home and we are working on finding our rhythm as a newly expanded family. Between potty breaks, playing and training we are incredibly busy. Please continue to help us share our story and fundraiser! The work has truly begun and this journey is only just beginning for us. Thank for your support, it means so much to us!
Zim working on walking with his new pack!
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Check out this video of Zim on one of his latest outings. He did so well! Almost time to go bring Zim home <3
Zim & sister Rocky training in public!
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Crazy to think in 3 days we head off to take a big road trip and bring Zim home! He's nearly done with his advanced puppy training and he's already learned so many commands and begun public training to learn to work under distraction. Here he is enjoying himself at 11.5 weeks while out on the town! Such a good boy.

Please continue to help us spread the word about our story and fundraiser. Every dollar and share is GREATLY appreciated!
Just a little doodle working hard!
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$1,447 of $3,400 goal

Raised by 12 people in 13 months
Created June 12, 2017
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$25
Anonymous
11 months ago
$25
Anonymous
12 months ago
A
$400
Anonymous
12 months ago (Offline Donation)

To whoever gave us an anonymous donation from their family and their church, we are truly floored and incredibly grateful! Patrick was fighting back tears when he received it. Your generosity is absolutely amazing and our family thanks you, whoever you are

$20
Anonymous
12 months ago
$50
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12 months ago
TC
$750
Trinity Church
12 months ago (Offline Donation)
PM
$50
Peter & Debrale Murphy
13 months ago (Offline Donation)

Birthday Gift

$10
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13 months ago (Offline Donation)
$45
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13 months ago (Offline Donation)
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