After 45 years of managing diabetes, Brenda received Kendrick, her first service dog from SDWR. The dog will not only provide support during times of crisis but also help her to live a more independent and less anxiety-filled life. Brenda’s service dog will be able to accompany her everywhere thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Diabetes limits Brenda’s independence and causes her emotional distress because she, her husband and family are constantly worried about her blood sugar levels. With her Diabetic Alert Dog, Kendrick, by her side Brenda and her family are hopeful that she will gain the confidence to face the everyday challenges of living with the disease.
SDWR will continue to work with Brenda and Kendrick in her 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 Brenda, her family, and Kendrick 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 Police Officer R. Shelly Kendrick of the Bessemer Police Department in Alabama. 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 Kendrick’s work with Brenda will carry on in memoriam of Police Officer R. Shelly’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 Brenda — 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, http://www.sdwr.org. To learn more about Diabetic Alert Dogs visit https://www.sdwr.org/service-dogs/diabetic-alert/. To find out how you can volunteer or serve as a service dog raiser visit https://www.sdwr.org/volunteers-opportunities.