So many factors go into the making of a service dog team. And one of the biggest factors are our puppy raisers! Heather Brinker shares the story of how her daughter, Amelia Brinker, got her service dog!
"We heard about the need for puppy raisers at 4 Paws for Ability when my niece was waiting for her service dog. While we were working with our first foster, we learned that our daughter's pain condition was going to be something that she would have to learn to live with for the rest of her life and we applied for a service dog for her. Being puppy raisers and a client family gave us a whole different perspective of the whole process. We developed a love and respect for the puppy raisers that were willing to go out of their way to make sure the dogs they were raising had as many experiences as possible to be successful and that they were willing to give them back even though it was so hard! We puppy raised 8 dogs before Amelia was placed with her service dog, Twist, and we fell in love with every one of them! Learning how to handle the dogs in training made it easier when she was placed with her own dog. We consider everyone involved with 4 Paws for Ability to be family! Amelia is 19 years old and suffers from several different medical conditions. She got to the point that she wouldn't go anywhere with me because she was afraid of losing her balance and falling, passing out , having an anaphylactic reaction or having an anxiety attack. Now with Twist by her side, she has her independence back. She will go places with her friends and know that Twist will steady her if she gets dizzy or stumbles, he will alert and do deep pressure if she faints, he has her emergency medicine in his saddlebags, and he will do behavior disruption if she has an anxiety attack. We are so thankful to everyone that is involved with 4 Paws for Ability!"
Becoming a puppy raiser gives you the opportunity to make a difference!