Cat & Desi

By | Hearing Assistance

4 Paws For Ability: Sometimes the quietist person in the room speaks the loudest! 🗣 We thank her for the courage and charisma she displayed as she both uplifted and inspired us! We only hope to keep helping people and developing great friendships along the way!
Sincerely, 4paws Fam. 🐕🐩🐶🏠
#4paws #DogLover #servicedog #puppyhouse #puppylove

Nolan & Nerys

By | Seizure Alert

4 Paws For Ability: “Instead of stares or avoidance, people are constantly coming up to us commenting on how beautiful Nerys is and engaging with Nolan as a result. She has opened social grace and acceptance we were not expecting.”
#4paws #DogLover #4pawsforability #furbaby #servicedog #puppyhouse #puppylove #dogsoftwitter #DogLife #dogsofinstagram


By | Hearing Assistance

4 Paws For Ability: “At night I can’t hear. Sinopia will alert me if someone calls my name and if a fire alarm goes off. I can finally sleep at night, knowing I won’t die. This service dog has changed my life and I don’t know how to repay #4paws. They gave my my life back.”
We’ve done some great work.. but there is much to do and we haven’t even scratched the surface yet. 🐕🐶
#4paws #DogLover #4pawsforability #furbaby #servicedog #puppyhouse #puppylove #dogsoftwitter #DogLife #dogsofinstagram

Puppy Raisers Making a Difference: Heather and Nasreen

By | Autism Assistance, Service Dog Stories, Traditional Puppy Raiser

As soon as we started puppy raising Nasreen, we could see just how sweet and attentive she was. She was unfazed when multiple kids would pet her, and crowds and loud noises didn’t bother her at all. She was very snuggly and loved to cuddle. One day we were in a crowded outdoor mall when an event was taking place. My daughter started having an anxiety from the noise and people so I got her away to a grassy area behind the mall. My daughter sat in the grass and Nasreen climbed in her lap unprompted and just sat there and let my daughter hug her. That was the point that I knew she would make an amazing autism assistance dog.

*Nasreen was placed as an autism assistance dog with her partner in October 2017.

Puppy Raisers Making a Difference: The Glindmeyer Family

By | Autism Assistance, Service Dog Stories, Traditional Puppy Raiser

From the moment 4 month-old Mulder romped into the room and presented both of us with the “doodle hug,” my husband and I knew we were in trouble. We told ourselves that we were going to do this puppy raising for someone else, that we would guard our hearts so that we would never have to experience the ache of saying goodbye to another dog. It was as if he knew we needed him to love for a little while, as much as Joe needed him after he was finished with the business of growing. And so, our journey began. It didn’t take us long to figure out that he was a special guy. As puppy raisers we took our job very seriously. We took him with us everywhere we went and we created as many experiences as possible that we could think of that a family might need him to be prepared. Along the way, as we introduced him to kids of all ages at schools, churches, libraries, festivals, playgrounds, museums – you name it – we wound up meeting a whole host of people with whom we would have never had a conversation.

We used the words “bullet-proof” to describe Mulder. He never met a noise, a sight or an experience that made him nervous. He was very curious about his shadow and chased his tail as if it were something that followed him, but truly these were his only challenges. Mulder’s other special talent seemed to be his ability to find things. His nose was never wrong. If we hid his ball somewhere to take a break, he immediately reminded us where it was located, even if it was in another room. Mulder wasn’t with us long before we began telling folks who asked us what kind of service dog he would be someday, “Well, that’s for the folks in Advanced Training to figure out, but we’re guessing he’d be great in a family with a child who is diagnosed with Autism.”

Without a doubt the most rewarding part of our experience as Puppy Raisers has been these months after Mulder met Joe and became his best friend. There were times while raising him when we thought there would be no way he would ever sleep on a bed, given his love for the tile floor or the air conditioner vents. His love for playing ball, greeting people and other dogs and sniffing every smell in the grocery store were all potential distractors that we wondered how on earth he would ever leave behind. But then, through the photos his new family posted, we’ve seen Mulder develop a love for someone much more special than any of his puppy favorites. Seeing photos of Mulder and his boy sleeping together, hanging out with Joe’s classmates at school together and most recently being a comfort to Joe in an overwhelming situation without even being asked to do so has simply made all those tears that were shed on the drive back home from give-back day worth it.

Puppy Raisers Making a Difference: Cessna and Alyssa

By | 4 Paws University, Autism Assistance, Service Dog Stories, Wittenberg

From the second I met Cessna, I was head over heels in love. Being my first 4 Paws for Ability foster, I had no idea how quickly he would become my best friend and how deeply I would bond with him. Throughout the 8 ½ half months that he lived with me, we only grew closer, which made his give back day all the more difficult.

My roommate and I picked Cessna up when he was 4 months old. We were shocked at how intelligent he was at this age, already knowing sit, down, and shake like he had been doing them for years. When we introduced him to new commands, he was such a quick learner, easily mastering things like ‘place’, ‘under’, and ‘hit it’. He wasn’t frightened by any loud noises or strange sights that he encountered, making it easy to take him practically anywhere with us. He thrived during trips to the grocery store, sporting events, and malls, and we were amazed by his unwavering confidence at all times.

Fostering was not without its challenges, but as Cessna grew up before our eyes we realized that it was his destiny to become a service dog. Cessna never met a person he didn’t like – he especially loved children of all sizes! He behaved impeccably in public and listened very well when given commands. There was nothing that he couldn’t handle. Perhaps his best quality however, was his ability to love unconditionally. The moment that best describes this was a night in which I had a mental breakdown, something that had greatly decreased in frequency since getting Cessna. That night, I had already put Cessna in his kennel for bedtime. Approximately 15 minutes later, the breakdown began and I knew immediately what I needed to stop it. I opened the kennel door, and without saying anything walked back into my room, where I curled up on my bed. Cessna jumped right up after me and began to nuzzle my arms before laying down with his body right up against mine. I’m not entirely sure how he knew what to do in the absence of commands, but it worked. He performed his first behavior disruption that night and I saw what an amazing service dog he was going to become.

Cessna and I were practically attached at the hip, so his sense of intuition was strong, but my love for him was even stronger. When I received the message that he was matched with a family after advanced training, I was ecstatic. I was overwhelmed with pride and joy at the fact that I had helped socialize a service dog and that I had thereby helped a family in need. Hearing that he was going to be an autism assistance dog made so much sense to me because he was always so loyal and perceptive. Cessna knew what I needed even if I didn’t know, and he stuck with me through good times and bad. His incredible sense of smell makes him perfect for tracking, and his ability to adapt to new situations assists him in helping his kiddo deal with change. On the day I watched him graduate as an official autism assistance service dog, it was a dream come true. I beamed from ear to ear at having the chance to meet his new family and see him one last time for a final goodbye. That day was bittersweet, but still today I feel extremely blessed to have been Cessna’s foster mom. Cessna will always have part of my heart wherever he goes, and he will forever be in mine.