Thursday, May 7, 2015

Partnering and Changing Lives

Almost one year to the day, Service Dog Uriah met her person, Coleen.  Uriah, was selected from Hilton Head Humane Association on April 24, 2014 and trained for a year.  Having learned over 90 commands she is already helping to change Coleen's life in small and large ways.

Coleen served in the United States Navy for 8 years as a Corpsman working in a gastroenterology clinic and emergency department. Coleen continued her passion for emergency work when she was assigned to the duty station Guantanamo Bay Cuba.

Coleen is excited to welcome her new service dog and hopes Service Dog Uriah will bring back some normalcy in her life.  Already Coleen and Uriah have been on outings to a pet retail store and a large box store that she would never have done alone.

Community Support is Key to Success

Each time a service dog is partnered with their person, we are reminded of the number of people and businesses involved to achieve this success.  Service Dog Uriah was selected from Hilton Head Humane Association after they contacted our team and invited us to visit and see their dogs.  Once in program, Uriah's training was done by military prisoners and volunteer handlers, Susan Martin and Denise and Kevin Carpentier, who took her on outings in the community. Her veterinary care was done by Best Friends Animal Hospital.  All of the records and documentation of training were transferred back to the corporate office in Wilmington for recording and retention.  Staff in the Wilmington office processed Coleen's application for a service dog and the Client Services Committee reviewed and determined her eligibility for a service dog.  Wilmington staff had the rewarding job of notifying Coleen of her approval, match with Uriah and team training arrangements.  

When it comes time for the clients' team training, staff arranges transportation, if needed, and hotel accommodations.  In Charleston there are three hotels that sponsor our clients accommodations.Holiday Inn Express & Suites Charleston North sponsored Coleen. On the day of the placement ceremony, the Brig is active in ensuring guests are escorted to the ceremony including a representative from Quilts of Valor.  Quilts of Valor's mission is to provide every Veteran with a hand crafted patriotic quilt and drape the Veteran in the quilt.  The team fromHarry Barker Inc. joins the ceremony to present the client and service dog with a gift basket of goodies to start their new life together. On the final day of training, a carriage tour of Charleston is graciously provided by Palmetto Carriage.

You too can be a part of changing someone's life with the gift of a service dog. Join our Continuing Companions by providing an ongoing monthly donation to help provide for the needs of a service dog in training and for the team training.