Julia Hodne

By | Make a Dream Come True
I have always said and believed that in my heart of hearts that Julia was brought into our lives because I needed to laugh more.

Julia is a fun, caring and loving nine-year-old from Ketchikan, Alaska, that faces many challenges everyday due to the effects of FASD, sensory processing disorder, single sided deafness, executive function difficulty, ADHD, and anxiety.

These challenges make it difficult for her to transition quickly from one activity to another, regulate and identify her very strong emotions, sit still during focused activities, control her impulses and not become overwhelmed by her anxiety in everyday environments. When overcome with anxiety or overstimulated mentally, Julia can become aggressive and dysregulated to the point she has had to be restrained and secluded from her friends and peers in the classroom at school. Her challenges are becoming a barrier to her friendships and relationships with her peers at school and in the community.

Julia needs support, assistance, and comfort with her daily life. A specifically trained service dog would be a unique and individualized support for her in a way she so desperately needs.

Julia’s service dog will be able to sense when she is becoming dysregulated and be able to help intervene and calm her down before her escalation cycle gets to the point where she needs to be removed from the classroom or other environments.

If Julia’s dysregulation is interrupted early, she can be much more successful in being a part of her peer community and other situations with little supports. Her service dog will be able to nuzzle her, lick her, give her kisses, and provide the deep pressure that Julia finds calming by laying on her, to help distract her from becoming further escalated.
When we asked Julia why she wanted a service dog she answered, “Then I will always have a best friend with me and people will want to be friends with me because they will want to come pet my dog and ask me questions about him. And then, if I have a service dog, I won’t be scared to go into rooms by myself because I will always have him with me and you (the parents) won’t have to go with me all the time.”

Animals have always been a source of comfort and love for Julia. We can be anywhere and she inevitably finds and is drawn to any animal and instantly connects with them when she is close and interacts with them.

In school we have sought out consultation through our Special Education Service Agency to help her team at school understand her unique and complex medical and developmental needs and challenges. Julia is currently on an IEP with a very specific Behavior Intervention Plan, but we as her parents and her team recognize there is a piece missing. A service dog for Julia would bridge that gap and support her as she is trying to learn the skills she will need to be the strongest version of herself that she can be.
Julia also receives support through our children’s mental health services here in Ketchikan so she can continue to gain and learn the skills of self-regulation and confidence she will need to adapt to living successfully with her disabilities. As Julia gets older her service dog can and will make an impact for her that she needs to move forward.

Even sharing the brief and general story of our life with Julia feels very personal and a bit vulnerable; the reason we are sharing is in hopes that we can raise the funds needed to help our daughter in a way she hasn’t been helped up to this point.

Please help in any way you can. Large or small, donations add up and we have a very long way to go.

That is a statement we have made so many times in our journey with Julia…but everything worth fighting for is a “very long way to go.”


You can donate directly to 4 Paws for Ability via mail or phone.

Checks by mail:
Please make checks out to
4 Paws for Ability and PLEASE MAKE SURE to put “In honor of Julia Hodne” in the memo line.
4 Paws for Ability
In honor of Julia Hodne
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, Ohio 45385


By phone:
You can also call to make a credit card donation over the phone at (937) 374-0385
Monday through Friday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Eastern time


Thank you and may you be blessed for helping Julia,

The Hodne Family



CDM Smith’s Wellness Program

By | Donate Dollars

4 Paws For Ability: Thank you Amy and Octavius for representing 4 Paws at CDM Smith’s event yesterday, and to CDM Smith for their support of 4 Paws!!!
CDM Smith: We were so excited to welcome Amy and Octavius with 4 Paws For Ability to our Boston headquarters yesterday for our Wellness Program Donations Ceremony! We donated $25,000 each to 4 Paws for Ability and United Way of South Hampton Roads, two spectacular organizations helping people in need. Check out the recap video: #MoreThanWork #GivingBack #UniquelyCDMSmith

Puppy Raiser Lydia

By | Volunteer

Our puppy raisers witness 4 Paws magic everyday! Puppy raiser Lydia Pack shares her experience with 4 Paws magic!

“I remember hearing the words “4 Paws Magic” for the first time and shrugged it off. Sure, the organization does some great work, and yeah, dogs are pretty awesome, but to use the word “magic” is a bit of a stretch. After a year of volunteering as a sitter and foster, I blab all the time about the magic. Fostering has taken me far out of my comfort zone in the best ways possible, and best of all, given me a best friend and lifelong memories. Even if you don’t believe in magic, you’ll understand if you become even slightly involved with this organization. I truly hope to volunteer for years to come.”

Become a puppy raiser and join in on the 4 Paws magic 🐾❤️

Puppy Raiser Angie

By | Volunteer

Our puppies love to make you smile! Puppy raiser Angie Estep shares why she puppy raises!

“Puppy raising has truly made a HUGE impact on my life! It has not only taught me time management and patience but it has also shown me that the best thing in life is seeing someone smile. Whether it’s the kid getting their life changing dog or just someone you run into on the street, their smile is the most rewarding thing you can get out of 4 Paws. That’s why I puppy raise, to help enhance someone else’s life. Knowing that my dog could make someones life so much easier or even just make them smile a little more, really warms my heart.”

Apply to be a puppy raiser now!

Puppy Raiser Caitlin

By | Volunteer

We love our puppy raisers! Caitlin Carruth tells why she loves making a difference by puppy raising!

“I’ve been puppy raising for almost 2 months now and have been an Onsite Volunteer for 6 months. I am currently fostering Jersey Boy from the tomato litter. I love puppy raising for so many reasons. First, in just a short time I’ve been able to meet so many new people. They have all been so helpful. I also love puppy raising because I have cousins that are autistic, epileptic, and diabetic. I have seen firsthand the effects that these diseases have on those afflicted with them and their families. Whenever puppy raising gets tough, to put things in perspective, I like to think about how small my challenges are compared to those of the families receiving dogs from 4 Paws. I love being able to play a role in making a difference for these people. I recently went to my first graduation and it’s something I’ll never forget. I’m so grateful to be involved in such a life changing organization!”

Apply to be a puppy raiser now!

Because of Volunteers

By | Puppy House Dreams

4 Paws For Ability: Where would we be without our volunteers? The people that have hearts of gold – and of course, a somewhat flexible schedule. 😉😊 We thank you!
So acknowledge what we’ve accomplished in the past, but never take your eyes off the future. The best is yet to come! ❤️🐕🏠 #4paws
#puppyhouse www.facebook.com/donate/466793677479290/
#4paws #DogLover #servicedog #puppyhouse #puppylove 🐶