Aaron & Hearing Dog Tucker
It is hard for me to put into words how much my new Battle Buddy means to me. I'm sure if you ask any service member who has been in combat to define how they feel about their Battle Buddy who has been there to cover their "six" and keep them alive, in some cases save them, they would be hard-pressed to express in words their gratitude and appreciation for them. When people ask me about Tucker, what it's like to have him, I always reply he is a force multiplier, one of which I would never have imagined. He picks me up when I'm feeling down, and is just what the doctor ordered when I'm feeling ill. Eventually I'll need to have my left hip replaced as the shrapnel that sits on it causes me pain when the weather gets cold and damp. It's on those days Tucker will come up to me, rest his head on my lap and look at me waiting to say "Okay, jump." And he jumps on me and lays right on top of my left thigh and my hip, causing the burning, aching pain to subside, and allowing me actually to rest and fall asleep. There is so much more I can write, but I would say it's great to have a friend who loves me unconditionally and is always there for me watching -- watching out for him and for me.
Emily & Service Dog for Therapy Rev
I just wanted to thank everyone at NEADS for matching me with Rev. I work in a nursing home as an occupational therapist, and he comes to work with me every day, and he brightens the patients and staff in our entire building and participants in therapy, and makes everybody extremely happy every day.
Tiffany & Service Dog for Therapy Rowan
I work at a 90-day residential facility for adolescent boys with drug addiction, and it's tough. Their 90 days is completely changed by having Rowan around and having him walk around the building. We get some kids that are pretty tough, and they melt with Rowan, and it's the coolest thing to see. I know from personal experience how much he's changing these kids' lives.
Jane & Hearing Dog Shemp
I thought I would never get another dog. Shemp is my third Hearing Dog and a miracle on four legs. He was abandoned and was found in the worst part of Worcester, Massachusetts, and no one could be bothered with him. He was starving. No one wanted to help him. The people reported him to the authorities, and they came and took him away. He was put in a shelter, and [NEADS trainer Brian] recognized potential in this little four-legged miracle. Brian said he's one of the brightest little, smartest little dogs that he's ever trained. Shemp is just wonderful, and I can't tell you the courage, the strength that he is giving me, my ears, and I would rather be deaf and have my Hearing Dog than have my hearing and no dog.
Tina Marie & Hearing Dog Whimsey
"Whimsey has made a tremendous change in my life. Anybody that calls me, she's taking me right to that person that calls my name. And when the trainer had showed me what she had done, I was floored. Literally happy. She's with me 100% of the time, and I can't relate enough what she does for me."
Peter & Service Dog Keddy
"A friend of mine told me I won the lottery when I got my dog Keddy, and that sure is how I feel."
Pat & Service Dog Shadow
"My last service dog, Jamie, I found out about six weeks before she died that her kidneys were failing. Once she left me people said I was just wandering around Pittsfield like a half a person. I was lost. When I brought Shadow home they said, now that stupid silly grin is back on your face! And [I'm] a total whole person again. And that is totally, totally true. Have you heard the Gene Kelly song, "Me and my Shadow"? Well that's my theme song. Believe me, these dogs, they help you. But the biggest thing is your heart. It's me and my Shadow, and that's literal."
Gus & Hearing Dog Casey
"First of all, I want to thank not only the people from NEADS but everyone who understands how meaningful these dogs are to us, how they assist us every day. But the best thing I can give you is an example of how I need her. I am on dialysis 9 hours a day and I don't hear alarms, I don't hear the telephone, but especially over my dialysis machine. I'm on it nine hours overnight. When I wake up in the morning my wife usually has left for work. When the machine ends, instead of my wife being there, I find the dog there licking my face and telling me the machine has ended."
Reverend Jane & Service Dog for the Ministry Ginger
"Ginger truly is a match made in heaven. She is a beloved partner in ministry, and she makes me a better person, and she brings joy and welcome and love to the people of our congregation. She has so many duties around the church, but has become so popular that she's the favorite member of our staff, and she has people in the hospital today that are waiting for her to come to see them."
Jordan & Facilitated Service Dog Patriot
"Two years ago we embarked on the effort to get Jordan a Service Dog. I don't think we as a family knew how much the dog would really mean to us. Within the first three days he became a member of our family. Jordan is 16 and we're allowing him to be home alone for the first time without us worrying because Patriot can fetch the cell phone, and fetch the phone and do other things around the house, so that the rest of us feel free to leave them home. I don't think Jordan knew how much he would fall in love with the dog either, but they're friends for life." -- Jordan's Mother