Jack Harmon is a bright, loving and curious 7 year old boy from Chaska, Minnesota. He loves swimming, art class, Imagine Dragons and 21 Pilots. He has also dabbled in hip hop dance, parkour and acting. He likes bugs, birds, fishing and sees the beauty in nature, even in a parking lot.
Now to the harder stuff: Jack has autism, level 2 and severe ADHD which affects a large part of his life. He has difficulty managing his emotions, transitioning from one activity to another, staying still, controlling his impulses and not getting anxious in certain environments. Jack will often get very aggressive and emotional. Jack needs assistance and guidance with daily life that a service dog would be uniquely qualified to provide.
His service dog will be a furry friend who is also able to sense when he’s getting frustrated and be able to intervene to calm him down before escalation. His service dog will be able to lie down on him during the inevitable meltdowns to provide that deep pressure that Jack finds so comforting. His dog will also be a friend and a non-judgmental presence that he can turn to when he is becoming dysregulated.
When we asked Jack why he wants a service dog this is what he said: “I want a dog because they’re cute. And they’re mammals; and I’m learning about mammals at school. The dog will help me calm down.”
That last sentence is the true reason. The dog will help him to calm down. To get back in control. To focus on something else. To have a true friend. And to be the best version of himself that he can be.
Having seen Jack in the presence of animals (including chickens and sheep that he met on a farm), it’s obvious that they have a calming effect on him and the effects of that interaction with animals can extend hours later. Jack loves dogs and likes watching YouTube videos of doggies playing and cuddling. He likes going to Petco on days that the cats and dogs are out so he can pet them and play with them. Interacting with animals helps him in so many ways.
We have already done many things to support Jack including Occupational Therapy, ABA therapy, PCIT (parent child interaction therapy), allergy testing and diet changes, medication, and various behavior plans and IEPs at school. We have seen many improvements through all these measures but we feel that a service dog would be a game changer for our son and could possibly change the trajectory of his life.
We wouldn’t be sharing our very personal story if we didn’t feel that a service dog could be the one thing that truly helps our son.
Please help however you can. Even a tiny donation can make a difference. Or if you’d like to help in another way, please reach out to us.
Please note: While 4 Paws for Ability is a 501(c)3 charity, donations for Jack’s service dog are not tax deductible. The IRS considers a donation to a specific child’s service dog as an “exchange of service” and hence cannot be deducted from your taxes. We hope this will not dissuade you from donating. You will be helping Jack a lot!
You an donate directly to Jack on his page: Www.mightycause.com/story/
Checks by mail:
Please make checks out to 4 Paws for Ability and PLEASE MAKE SURE to put “In Honor of Jack Harmon” in the memo line.
4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Jack Harmon
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, Ohio, 45385
You may also call to make a credit card donation over the phone at
(937) 374-0385, Monday thru Friday 9AM to 4PM Eastern.
Thank you for helping Jack,
The Harmon Family