Dogs Making a Difference: Loki and Will

By | Autism Assistance, Service Dog Stories, Supporters

Freshpet is a proud partner of 4 Paws For Ability, a very special organization that custom-trains assistance dogs for children facing a variety of challenges.

Freshpet is sending crates of fresh dog food to 4 Paws that they’re using to feed moms, puppies, and as high value training treats. And they’ve allowed us to share the stories of a few families who have received one of these amazing dogs.Today we’re featuring Will and autism assistance dog Loki, a black lab retriever. They were matched together in March 2016, and their mom Jenny tells us about how close they’ve become:

“What has surprised me the most is the incredible bond that Will and Loki have. When we entered into this service dog journey we were told that the child and dog may or may not bond, and that’s OK. A service dog will still work for a child even if a bond is not established. Well, Will and Loki have a bond like no other. They are the best of friends. Will does not engage in many interactive activities with his peers, but he plays fetch with Loki any time he finds a tennis ball. So not only does Loki provide safety and independence for Will, he’s his best friend.

Loki uses his training to make a difference for Will every day. Tethering [wearing a belt or harness with a tether that clips to their service dog’s vest] has been a godsend. It provides Will with the ability to walk independently in public without wandering away or bolting in a different direction. We don’t have to keep our hands on Will to keep him from running away.”

Dogs Making a Difference: Flame and Joel

By | Seizure Alert, Service Dog Stories, Supporters

Freshpet is a proud partner of 4 Paws For Ability, a very special organization that custom-trains assistance dogs for children facing a variety of challenges.

Freshpet is sending crates of fresh dog food to 4 Paws that they’re using to feed moms, puppies, and as high value training treats. And they’ve allowed us to share the stories of a few families who have received one of these amazing dogs.Today we’re featuring Joel and seizure assistance dog Flame, a papillon. They were matched together in June 2013, and their mom Amy tells us about the amazing difference their new furry family member has made in their lives:

“Besides being trained for seizure alert, Flame is also a social bridge for Joel. Due to the severity of his epilepsy, in his early teens he was homebound for over two years. He went from an active 5th grader to almost couch-bound until 8th grade. Not going back to school until 8th grade was very daunting for Joel, and the fear of having a seizure at school was overwhelming. We were blessed for Flame to be able to start 8th grade with Joel. She made a huge difference in Joel’s outlook for attending public school again. He is now a very successful senior taking college classes at the Columbus Zoo, with dreams of working with animals as his career.”

Dogs Making a Difference: Thunderbolt and Caleb

By | Mobility Assistance, Multipurpose Assistance, Seizure Alert, Service Dog Stories, Supporters

Freshpet is a proud partner of 4 Paws For Ability, a very special organization that custom-trains assistance dogs for children facing a variety of challenges.

Freshpet is sending crates of fresh dog food to 4 Paws that they’re using to feed moms, puppies, and as high value training treats. And they’ve allowed us to share the stories of a few families who have received one of these amazing dogs.Today we’re featuring Caleb and multi-purpose service dog Thunderbolt, a goldendoodle. They were matched together this past July, and their mom Rachael tells us about the irreplaceable role Thunderbolt plays in their lives:

“What will forever stand out about Caleb meeting Thunderbolt is the absolute pure joy we witnessed. It is something we don’t get to see all the time. The giggles and laughs we heard from Caleb were sounds we haven’t heard in a very long time. We witnessed a happiness that we have not been able to see very often due to his chronic nonstop pain.

“The greatest gift that Thunderbolt gives Caleb is freedom. Freedom to be a carefree boy that gets to play, run and laugh with his furry best friend. Thunderbolt provides Caleb with so much love and joy, and helps him forget all the pain, if even just briefly. That is something we can’t do for him. Thunderbolt provides us with security knowing that he is being watched, protected and comforted during the darkest moments.”

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