Client Stories

NEADS brings together a community of puppy raisers, prison inmates, on-staff trainers, and others to produce a highly trained Service Dog who is then matched with someone to mitigate a specific disability.

There is nothing more telling about the successful and lasting human-animal partnerships this community creates than the stories of the lives these World Class Service Dogs change.

Stephanie and Assistance Dog Tootsie

Tootsie, an Assistance Dog for the Ministry, was matched with Pastor Stephanie Smith of Cathedral in the Night in October 2017. Since that time, she’s made quite an impact on the Northampton, MA congregation. Pastor Smith continues the story. Cathedral in the Night is out-of-the-box – literally, as we don’t have a building, and we…

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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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Will and Hearing Dog Digby

I first met a Hearing Dog when I was in my 50s and thought it was truly amazing, even more so when I learned that just a month later this brave dog led her partner to safety as her house was engulfed in flames. Without this helper, the woman would have died. My wife and…

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Kayne and Service Dog Nikki

Nikki has been with me for about a year now. She has changed my life dramatically, and I can’t imagine it without her. Nikki helps me with my daily tasks. She picks up items I drop, opens and closes doors, turns light switches on and off, pushes buttons at elevators and handicap doors, and fetches…

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Chris and Hearing Dog Masie

I first learned about the Hearing Ear Dog Program (now NEADS) in an article in the Disabled American Veterans magazine in 1982. I contacted the program and was interviewed and matched with my first Hearing Dog, Fitzgerald, a Black Lab/Pit-Bull mix. Fitzy was with me from 1983 until 1994. He was followed in 1993 by…

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Josh and Social Dog Badger

Badger has brought light back to Josh’s life. He’s Josh’s best friend, consistently and reliably by his side. Badger’s goofy personality makes him a perfect fit–Badger is on point when he should be, but extra silly on free time, making him more relate-able & perfectly Badger. On the day of this photo, Badger had perfect…

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Thekla and Social Dog Keely

We could never have begun to imagine the wonderful, strong bond that Thekla and Keely would forge. Thekla was matched with Keely about a year and a half ago. Keely is Thekla’s best friend. She is loyal, she comforts when sad; shares joy; gives love unconditionally. Keely helps Thekla navigate socially when out and about.…

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Patricia and Courthouse Facility Dog Willis

Willis has helped tremendously since he came onboard. I can tell countless stories, but one in particular stands out. Willis was on the stand with a 13-year-old girl who had to testify against her father’s abuse. She bonded with Willis and it made it easy for her to talk with the Prosecutor and me about…

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Christine and Courthouse Facility Dog Ann

The excellent training of a NEADS dog becomes the most valuable thing in a handler’s life. I know this whole experience has changed my life, and the lives of those I work with every day. – Christine and Courthouse Facility Dog Ann

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Mark and Service Dog Skipper

When I first found out that NEADS had a Service Dog for me, I will admit that I got excited, but when I was told his name was Skipper, I knew as a Navy Veteran this match was meant to be. After two weeks of training, I came home with Skipper, and although I knew…

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