It is with great pleasure that I share with you all my decision to embark upon a new journey with my second NEADS Service Dog for Therapy. As many of you reading this page know, I shared my professional endeavors with the honorable and adorable NEADS dog, Rowdy (pictured) from 2007-2015. The loss of Rowdy tore at my heart, making it necessary for me to “take stock” and really contemplate whether I would apply for a new working dog. Sixteen months later I am here, quite excited, filled with gratitude and ready to have another go with a new, furry, four-legged partner!
My eight years of adventures with Rowdy were filled with countless moments, exchanges, experiences through which positive change was facilitated by his mere presence, his leans, his rubs and his smart and comical “therapoodle” antics. We worked in a children’s psychiatric hospital for the bulk of Rowdy’s career. In 2013 we moved to my psychotherapy practice. This next loveable dog will join me in the provision of individual, family and group psychotherapy, primarily to children, adolescents and young adults in my office, at schools, and wherever canine presence/intervention can support development of and practice using positive and adaptive skills to navigate the challenges life brings.
Now here is where you all come in… You can be a part of this unfolding story; you can sponsor my new dog and our partnership. I invite you to join my efforts to support the ongoing, extremely important and special work that NEADS does for those seeking dogs to help themselves and/or others. As a private, nonprofit organization (501c3) NEADS requests that all who acquire their canine match help raise funds to offset the high costs associated with training and care. It costs NEADS more than $42,000 over two years of TLC (tender loving care) to bring one pup to what I like to call his/her PhD level of training. At any given time there may be as many as 90 dogs in training. The money you help me raise with your tax deductible donation will be used for all that is needed for the pups including mentally stimulating toys, food, bedding, veterinary care, as well as the extensive, highly specialized training. NEADS requests that I raise at least $8000. My goal is to exceed this amount by as much as possible. I will personally match each contribution made by individuals, no matter how big or small until the target goal is reached. Please consider making a donation in my name and in Rowdy’s memory so that more kids, teens, and families can benefit in tangible and intangible ways.
Let’s see what we can do for NEADS together. THANK YOU at least 8000 times over for helping support my efforts to have a pup offer more than 8000 tail wags and kisses to children, adolescents and families as they embark upon their hard work towards positive and lasting change.
Kim Waggoner, LICSW