Stories

Grace R

Grace RGrace was born with Hydrocephalus, Chiari Malformation, Craniosynostosis, Crouzon’s Syndrome and later developed a Syringomyelia. By the age of 13 she had undergone over 45 surgeries most of those of her brain and spine. At the age of 14 she was diagnosed with Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma. Stage 4 cancer. She underwent 30 rounds of radiation and 34 rounds of chemotherapy. She needed 3 additional surgeries, one to repair her tendons in both legs to be able to walk correctly again. As a result of her surgeries and chemotherapy she experiences daily pain, occipital neuropathy, peripheral neuropathy, balance issues and some vision limitations.

A service dog will benefit Grace in assisting her with mobility in daily activities such as stairs, curbs, assistance in getting off the floor and or ground and helping her walk when she is off balance. The service dog will also retrieve items when they are dropped or it is difficult for her to get out of bed.


Grace R's Dog Remington

Remington SmallRemington is an Chocolate English Labrador.  He was born in November of 2017.  He's an ideal service dog candidate because of his calm demeanor, steady nerve and high intelligence.  The English Labradors are much like the American version, but they tend to be more laid back and more calm.  Remington has been a delight to work with.  We'll be using the English Labrador more in the future because of the success we've had with Remington. 

Remington picks things up very quickly, and he's bvery tightly bonded to Grace. They work together very well as a team.

 

Kyler B

kyler faceKyler is a typical middle-school boy. He lives with his family in Lakeland TN. In October of 2017, he suddenly began having severe and frequent seizures. He spent several weeks in LeBohner Children's Hospital in Memphis TN, followed by several weeks in a physical rehabilitation center in Atlanta Ga. His condition was diagnosed as epilepsy, but so far the treatments haven't been effective.

Kyler can't be left alone at all, even for a few seconds, and he can't attend school. A service dog will provide his parents with some relief from needing to watch over him every second of every day. A dog will also allow him to start moving back toward a normal life, including going back to school. And most importantly, the dog could certainly save his life. 

Kyler B's Dog Angel

angel leashAngel is a Yellow English Labrador Retriever.  She was born on April 1st, 2018 at the Loblolly Labradors kennel in Middle Tennessee.  She came from a top quality bloodline that has produced multiple sucessful service dogs in the past.

Angel is being trained to both alert to seizures before they happen and also to react to seizures once they start.  Alerting beforehand will allow Kyler to get to a safe place so he won't be injured when the seizure begins.  Responding after the seizure begins, Angel will be able to comfort Kyler and help minimize the seizure's severity.  If Kyler is alone when a seizure begins she will also bark to alert that he's in trouble and needs assistance.


Jessica R

jessicaJessica is an award-winning High School Film and Video Teacher at Arlington Community Schools system in Arlington, TN. She currently lives in Memphis, Tennessee with her husband, 2 sons. and her cat Hairy Pawter. Her life doesn’t exist without coffee, movie quotes, silly pictures and Harry Potter.

Jessica had a new baby boy named Finn in 2014. Unfortunately, her pregnancy and childbirth were nearly fatal for her. She suffered through weeks of severe sickness and was eventually diagnosed with Pre-Eclampsia. She experienced high blood pressure spikes, 2 collapsed lungs and kidney failure. She finally gave birth to Finn in breech position after 36 hours of labor. At one point  she was given a 5% chance of survival.

Jessica's birth experience left her with PTSD, severe anxiety, depression and night terrors, which can be crippling. The initial list of tasks Jessica needs help with are medication reminders, weighted sleeping tasks, comfort during anxiety, and help with deep breathing for relaxation.


Jessica R's Dog Charlie

charlie puppyCharlie is a female Bi-Color German Shepherd Dog from Pigeon Ridge German Shepherds in Byhalia, Mississippi.  She was born in June 0f 2018 and was approximately 6 months old when her training began.

Charlie is being trained to recognize Jessica's anxiety and respond by helping her to recognize when her anxiety is becoming severe.  She will help calm Jessica by nuzzling and applying her weight (kissing and hugging).  Charlie will also help manage the space around Jessica when crowds make her uncomfortable.  Dogs like Charlie often need to respond to their owmer's  problems without and instruction so they have to be very good at reading queues and deciding the proper response all by themselves. 

Meagan P

meagan jynMeagan suffered a trauma that left her with severa anziety and PTSD. She also has chronic pain associated with Fibromyalgia. 


Meagan P's Dog Jyn

JynJyn is a female sable-colored German Shepherd Dog. She was born in Feb 2016. She was one year old when we began training and already belonged to Meagan.

Ashton C

ashtonAhston has severe diabetes. Her illness causes her blood glucose to drop extremely low, which causes her to lose consciousness. This happens most when she's driving and overnight. She has has multiple situations where parametics had to be called to resuscitate her. She needs a service dog to alert her to these situations in advance so she can receive the appropriate treatment before losing consciousness.


Ashton C's Dog Blaze

blazeBlaze is a black English Labrador.

Ava R

avaAva is 6 years old and attends 1st grade at Arlington Elementary School. She has Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), which is a neurological disorder that affects both motor and sensory nerves. CMT causes weakness of the foot and lower leg muscles which make it difficult to walk and maintain balance, often leading to frequent falls. CMT is a progressive disease, so it requires ongoing physical therapy, occupational therapy, use of braces and other orthopedic devices, and even orthopedic surgery. 

Ava currently walks with the assistance of a walker and leg braces. The walker limits her access to many places she needs to go. She can't easily move up and down curbs and inclines, and it's impossible for her to use it to go up and down stairs. The walker and braces are cumbersome, so, unfortunately, this means Ava falls quite frequently.While CMT limits Ava physically, it doesn't limit her learning ability and mental development, so thankfully she's a very bright young lady. As you can imagine, she's very aware of just how different she is from her classmates due to her disease and her leg braces & walker. 

Ava's parents recently approached K9 Direction about the possibility of providing a service dog for her. After discussing the assistance a service dog can provide, we agreed that a service dog can benefit Ava in several ways. 

First, Ava can use the dog to improve her mobility and balance. While she'll likely still need her leg braces, the service dog can replace the walker in most situations. This will allow her to get to many places she can't currently go. It'll also help prevent falls. Second, the dog can provide a much more positive self-image for Ava. While having a service dog will still make her feel "different" from her classmates, it can be a more positive experience for her in her daily life. Third, as Ava's disorder progresses, the service dog will be able to take over more and more of her physical activities to help conserve energy. At some point, it may become difficult for her to make it through a full day, so having a dog to help can make a huge difference. And last, the dog will be a constant friend for her to help her deal with any emotional or psychological issues that may arise as side-effects of her physical difficulties.


Ava R's Dog ???

golden retrieverWe have not picked a puppy for Ava yet, but she will be receiving a Golden Retriever.  We've officially accepted Ava into our service dog program and we're currently puppy shopping for her. We decided on a Golden Retriever because they're very gentle and Ava's dog will need to accompany her to elementary school. A puppy from a high-quality working line of Golden Retriever costs $2,000 to $3,000, and the training and equipment cost a minimum of $7,500. 

???

Scarlett hasn't been matched with a team mate yet.


Scarlett

scarlettScarlett is an 18 month old female sable colored German Shepherd Dog.