In Their Words

What It Is Like Having A Service Dog

I have always been a dog person.

When I was injured in 2011, I briefly entertained the idea of having a dog, but felt I needed to take care of myself more and didn’t want to put extra responsibility on the caregivers who help me. You see, after my spinal cord injury, my life became a constant battle between different therapies, doctors’ appointments, home exercise, and just getting my life back to some normalcy. This took me a little over a year, but even then, I didn’t feel as though I could comfortably take care of a dog. Now that I have Oliver, I somewhat regret not getting a dog sooner.… but then, if I had gotten a dog sooner, it wouldn’t have been Oliver.

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Jocelyn and Service Dog Sammie

Jocelyn, an Air Force veteran and NEADS first female TAD client, was matched with Service Dog Sammie in 2017. Here’s her story:

I now know why there is a sign in the NEADS client house that says, “Every once in a while a dog enters your life and changes everything.” Little did I know just how quickly everything would change for the better when Sammie entered my life.

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