Easton is an incredible 9 year old boy who happens to have Down Syndrome. He has great difficulty processing new situations causing him severe anxiety which leads to his withdrawal from his social environment. As a Navy family, we move every few years forcing Easton to constantly readjust to new environments. It pains us to watch him struggle to find balance and engage in his new surroundings. A recent family trip to Washington D.C. lead to our encounter with another family that had a service dog. In just the short time we interacted with them, Easton bonded with the service dog and his social anxieties were lowered allowing him to experience new wonders.
Recently, we were accepted by 4 Paws For Ability for service dog placement. The cost of training a service dog is high: approximately $22,000 for 4 Paws For Ability to train and place one service dog. 4 Paws For Ability has offered us a partnership in which we volunteer to raise $14,000 in funds to support their mission of placing service dogs with children who have disabilities. Once our fundraising portion is complete, 4 Paws For Ability will commence training a service dog for Easton.
We want Easton to have the same opportunities as any other child and we believe that with a service dog by his side he will have the confidence to interact with his surroundings. Additionally, we also want to increase awareness to the benefits of a service dog by sharing the gift we received in Washington D.C. when we saw first hand how a service dog helped melt some of Easton’s anxieties away. 4 Paws For Ability is an amazing organization that trains dogs through trust, respect and love to help take the ‘dis’ OUT OF disability for both children with disabilities as well as U.S. Military Veterans to help them lead more independent lives. Easton has taught us unconditional love and we want others to have the opportunity to experience the same joy he has brought to our family. We appreciate your consideration to help Easton obtain a service dog.