Erin & Service Dog Freedom
"Freedom is my first Service Dog. She keeps my independence. She is there as a guide if I'm home alone, so I'm not afraid. We've done lots of things together. We've gone to almost every concert at Indian Ranch over the summer. We got to meet Brett Michaels. And we have also done the Relay For Life. She helps me to do the laundry, which she loves to do. You say to her, 'come on, let's do the laundry' and she picks up my clothes and shuts the laundry door for me. She gets the phone, and she'll bark if I need assistance, so somebody can come down from upstairs. And I'm just really glad that I have her."
Christine & Hearing Dog Addie
"I want to thank NEADS profusely for matching me up with Addie. It's a perfect match. She's loveable. She's laid-back. She does her job, what she's supposed to do. She wakes me up in the morning with licks on my face, and she knows I don't want to get up in the morning, but she's very persistent."
Elaine & Service Dog Rudy
"Her training...yes, she's a dog, but she's perfect. She helps me to get up, to stand up when I fall down. She's just everywhere. The one thing she has brought to me the most is safety. I feel safer now I have her with me. I want to thank my family, and my wife, my friends, John and Gerry, Christy, and just everybody who has a part in NEADS. They're all amazing people, and you have no idea how much you have touched my life, Rudy's life, and everywhere we go there's a conversation about NEADS. She's an icebreaker, and she's just meant to be. I thank you all for standing by my side and helping me to achieve this wonderful dream."
Louis & Social Dog Moonstone
"My name is Louis and I'm ten years old, and this is my dog and she is almost two. She is my buddy. She makes me feel safe, confident. I want to thank everyone at NEADS, my family, and my friends for this amazing gift."
Nickolay & Social Dog Ellie
"Hi, my name is Nick Stewart and my dog's name is Ellie. We got Ellie in July and she's been with us for four months. Ellie is loveable and cheerful. She is my best, best friend. We like to play ball with each other. We also play with her rope toy and she goes crazy with it. And in the morning when I get up I feed Ellie her breakfast. I am so glad that Ellie is in my life."
Christopher & Service Dog Perry
"I broke my kneecap while in Iraq and I had surgery and countless hours of physical therapy and things, and then I also have post-traumatic stress disorder, and Perry was assigned to me to help me with my knee problems. He picks things up for me. He can turn on and off lights. Opens and closes my office door when people come in. And I wouldn't go out in public very often if I could help it. Perry has been such a wonderful addition to my life, and I don't know what I've done -- what I did without him, you know, before, but he's just been great."
Brian & Social Dog Willow
"Willow is a great addition to our family. Whether walking around town or taking trips for ice cream she's always there and encouraging more and more friends to meet Brian. She's patient and kind, and teaching us to be more patient. We are better able to teach Brian to wait for things because Willow is obviously waiting as well. She's learning to follow only gestures and signs from Brian, since Brian is nonverbal, and she's making every day a little brighter for all of us." (Mother of Brian Kanya)
Jodi & Service Dog Max
"My last service dog passed away in April, 2009, after working together with me for 11 years. Her name was Maxine. The day I was told my new service dog's name was Max, it was Maxine's way of saying I'm watching over you. Since Max and I have been home together, Max has learned to turn on and off the kitchen light. He cannot wait until my shoes are removed so he can tug my socks off. We have a kiss prior to bed. Max is a very sensitive young lab. He knows when I'm going to fall before I do, even though I can never remember the command I'm supposed to use, brace. One cannot explain the innate force that lives inside him. Max and I are no longer two, but a seamless team of two. I thank you at NEADS for keeping this wonderful organization running."
Robert & Service Dog for Therapy Tommy
"What's wonderful about Tommy is that he's able to touch so many children's lives with psychiatric disabilities. He's the first dog at New York State to be a full-time employee where he visits kids with mental illness and trauma. The impact he's had on the hospital and the children in the hospital has been phenomenal. In his career, he's going to have the opportunity to touch thousands of kids' lives."
Deb & Hearing Dog Rusty
"I am very emotional because my whole life is changed completely for the better. With Rusty, I come to realize how much I miss out because I didn't grow up in a hearing world. And I feel really blessed to have him listening for me. He alerts me to a lot of sounds and he's kept me safe. On the second day we were together, the fire alarm went off. We didn't even have a chance to train for that specific sound, but he knew something was wrong. He got me out of the store, and I'm really grateful because I feel safer at night. I can sleep again and I want to thank everyone who has been helping me from the start. It's just been six months since I found NEADS, and I'm really grateful for the support and independence more than I ever thought I could have. Thank you."