Paula McNeill

Hi Everyone! I’m Paula. I am a T8 paraplegic and have been for 8 years now. Since my injury I have continued to work, ski, bike, and generally be active. I am a mother of two amazing young adults who have left the nest.

We, as a family, have always had dogs in the house, and recently lost our last dog. I find the house to be really empty without the kids or a pet, so beyond services I also look forward to companionship.

While, the kids were living at home they helped me with daily tasks and chores that I took for granite. A service dog will help me complete these tasks that are made more difficult by my injury. Another great example of this is that I travel. I often try to get away from the cold winters of Vermont and a dog would help make traveling by myself to visit relatives more viable.

The biggest thing a dog will bring me is piece of mind. I have fallen out of my wheelchair in the past and been unable to reach a phone or contact others. A dog would be able to alert others to my situation so that they could come to my assistance.

The training process for a service dog is very expensive, approximately 42k. NEADS asks their clients to raise 8k to help with the cost of training these working dogs. Please consider donating in my name to this organization that provides such a wonderful service for people with all kinds of disabilities.