After 5 years of sleepless nights filled with worry about their daughter’s blood sugar, Maryann and Jeff are looking forward to the extra help their daughter’s service dog, Beth will bring. Samantha’s service dog will be able to accompany her everywhere thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Diabetes affects Samantha’s independence. She often requires cues and reminders from her parents to manage her diabetes. With her Diabetic Alert Dog, Beth, by her side Samantha and her family are hopeful that she will gain the confidence and independence to face the everyday challenges of living with diabetes.
SDWR will continue to work with Samantha, her parents and Beth in their home environment, to train for specific needs she may have. What makes SDWR so unique from other nonprofit service dog organizations is this highly customized and tailored training program. SDWR trainers will continue to return for training sessions with Samantha, her family, and Beth every 3-4 months during the next 18 months to make a successful team and gain public access certification.
As an honored graduate of the SDWR Fallen Officer Puppy Program (FOPP), the service dog is named after fallen hero Correctional Officer Amanda Beth Baker of the Scotts Bluff County Detention Center, Nebraska. FOPP is an initiative by SDWR to pay respect to the legacy of service by fallen American police who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. Alert Dog Beth’s work with Samantha will carry on in memoriam of Correctional Officer Amanda Beth Baker’s life of service before self.
Service Dogs by SDWR has a mission to provide specially-bred dogs for individuals of all ages with invisible disabilities like Autism Spectrum Disorder, PTSD, Seizure Disorder, or in the case of Samantha – Diabetes. In addition to the nearly 600 working dogs already placed, there are several hundred more actively enrolled in SDWR’s program.
Service Dogs by SDWR is a non-profit organization based in Virginia, and relies on donations to help the organization in its mission, “Until there’s a cure … there’s a dog.” To make a donation or learn more about SDWR, please visit the website, https://www.sdwr.org. To learn more about Diabetic Alert Dogs visit https://www.sdwr.org/service-dogs/diabetes/. To find out how you can volunteer or serve as a service dog raiser visit https://www.sdwr.org/volunteer-opportunities.