We are trying to raise enough money for Kim to have a new service dog. Her service dog has suddenly become sick and unable to work. She was budgeting for a new service dog in about a year and a half, not so suddenly. Service dog care and training is very expensive, not to mention the $600 custom harness the dog will wear to help her walk, work, and just maybe go hiking with friends again.
Kim was severely injured in a hit-and-run accident in 2006 at 22 years old while in college full-time. As she healed, she started training her dog to do therapy work as he'd been so great with her. Unfortunately, a year after that first accident, she was rear-ended in another hit-and-run accident. At this point, Kim started training her dog to help her around the house. Within thirty minutes of starting his training, he was able to open cupboards and retrieve the specified item inside! He's an exceptionally bright dog and quickly took to his new job. Before long, she was able to begin actually living again with this dog at her side, even traveling to her brother's college graduation a couple states away which would have been impossible without her service dog.
Ths May, her dog started getting sick. His premium dog food had been tainted with Salmonella. He was treated, but started getting sicker. Amongst his illness and being evacuated due to forest fires, Kim was rear-ended yet again and suffered by far the most serious injuries of her three nearly identical accidents. All three accidents took place where she was stopped at a red light for a minute or two and was hit by someone who didn't even try to stop. New injuries include altered senses (ringing ears, lack of many tastes and smells, severe nerve pain, numbness and tingling in the extremeties, brain swelling, headaches, difficulty walking and shifting positions, and cognitive dysfunction. We're still working with the car insurance to finance the imaging and nerological testing her doctors would like done.
As she's been struggling to even get up from bed on her own, Sketcher has continued to decline. His liver enzymes were poor, and a nodule in his spleen was found during a liver ultrasound. Surgery was planned for the end of August. Unfortunately, he got even worse, and his liver enzymes shot up to 11 times normal values. His surgery was moved up to immediately as he wouldn't be alive at this rate at the end of August. Liver biopsies were taken, his spleen removed, and small intestine biopsies taken as he'd been throwing up and unwilling to eat. The spleen nodule was non-cancerous thankfully, but he's suffering from severe autoimmune disease in his liver and intestines in addition to a liver infection. He's being treated for both, but is not going to be able to return to work. We're still waiting on a copper level test to come back on the last liver biopsy, and if that comes back fine, and he responds to treatment, he'll likely have a year of retirement to live out with Kim.
Kim must have a new dog to be able to live independently and hopefully to be able to work as a productive member of society again. Unfortunately, on a fixed income of assistance from her family, the cost of aquiring, training, and caring for a new service dog so suddenly is not possible. Hiowever, without a new service dog, she's having to rely very heavily on friends and family to care for her. She's also been not able to leave the house much at all, even for basics like grocery shopping.
Service dogs through placement organizations often cost upwards of thirteen thousand dollars and require the disabled pesron to travel to their center...and traveling is impossible without the assistance of a service dog in the first place or a family member who can take that much time off to travel with the individual. However, Kim is a very skilled dog trainer and can train her own. This saves a TON of money and puts a new service dog much closer financially. The new dog will attend local dog classes from puppy socialization through the Canine Good Citizen test for socialization while Kim works on training the task specific work at home. The new dog will be required to wear a mobilitiy harness to help her walk on her high pain days, alert to fire and gas leaks which she can no longer smell, pick up dropped items, remove clothing, retrive specific items like medication bottles and a phone, turn on and off lights, and hopefuly also learn to alert to night terrors and panic attacks.
Kim has already been working with a giant schanuzer breeder who specializes in the American-coated dogs, a soft, fluffy, comforting dog that doesn't shed and is a highly intelligent working breed. Sketcher is a smaller American-coated schanuzer. The dog with shipping will cost $2000. The full budget including vet care, premium food, training supplies, a custom fit mobility harness, and treats is $6000. This will cover all training, but doesn't leave much buffer in case of emergency medical care for the dog. Sketch alone ran up $3000 this past month between surgery, blood transfusions, medications, imaging, and specialist visits! Any extra money raised here will be held in a savings account just for dog veterenary bills.
Thank you for your time and remember, even if YOU can't donate even a dollar, please forward this page to friends and family. One of them may be able to help. Thank you very much and remember that every signle dollar raised is a step toward regained independence for a very bright, but unfortunately very pained, young woman.
Thank you and remember that even one dollar donations really do add up!
Note: the video is from when Sketcher first started training years and years ago