My name is Ardis Mayo. Thank you for taking the time to read my story. As a lifelong resident of Maine I have always had a dog by my side. In recent years this has not been possible because I have MS and even a small dog is enough to flatten me if tempted by a passing butterfly. There are other challenges that come with this neurological nemesis like maintaining my balance when I drop things (an all too frequent habit) and managing doors that don’t close automatically behind me. One of the ways I maintain my endurance (as well as my mental health) is to take long walks in the early morning in our wooded community. There are some risks to being out so early when few people are around. A service dog can be trained to bark if I need assistance and, conveniently, will also carry a water bottle for me.
Could life be any sweeter? Since I retired from ministry, I often visit people who need someone to listen to their stories. A dog trained to help me safely navigate my world might enhance these visits in unimagined ways. A dog by my side will discover a world of music as a ‘gig-dog’ because I play both trumpet and violin in a number of community groups. And when day is o’er my companion will curl up by the fire to dream of the day’s adventures.
Having visited the staff and facilities of NEADS, and having met two of their dogs-in-training (one of whom is in the photo), I appreciate the $42,000 cost of a dog so well-bred and prepared. I have been asked to fundraise only $8000 dollars of this expense. The actual value of such a dog in my life is incalculable. I would be grateful to have you join me in this effort. Thank you very much.