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 my life would change, I had no idea how drastic that change would be.

I no longer dread going shopping. I know if I drop my keys or wallet, my partner will be there to pick them up. I no longer have to figure how to maneuver my scooter to press the door access button and to get in before it closes, because Skipper is always ready with a paw to push the button. At home, lights are turned on and off for me, and doors are opened and closed.

But the most important thing that Skipper has given me is the confidence to go out into the world and be a normal person again, leaving my handicap behind. It has only been three months with Skipper, but I cannot imagine life without him. People often talk about the love between an owner and their pet, but the love between a Service Dog and their human is the greatest love one can imagine.

– Mark and Skipper