Tag: service dog
How a hospital service dog brightened — and maybe even prolonged — the final days of sick little boy is the subject of this poignant report by WXIA in Atlanta.
Creed Campbell spent more than half of his life in the hospital, battling illness since the day he was born and missing out on many of the joys of childhood.
Then, while in the hospital, he met Casper, a service dog from Canine Assistants who visits young patients.
Casper was the new therapy dog at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite. Creed was one of the first children he’d be assigned to. The bond was instant, the family says.
“I don’t think he ever saw Casper as a dog,” Creed’s father, Jon Campbell, said.
Creed’s mother, Stephanie, put her son’s motionless hand on Casper’s paw, then saw her son’s hand begin to move.
“That dog just saved your son,” a nurse later told the family.
Because Casper visited him in the hospital, Creed felt he should go along when the dog went to the vet for a check up. In fact, he insisted on doing so, his mother, Stephanie wrote in a blog post about Casper and Creed for the hospital’s website.
Creed’s health improved, but only for a while.
Not long after Creed died, a new litter of puppies was born at Canine Assistants. They named one for Creed.
Stephanie went to meet the dog named after her son.
“I picked that dog up and … It was something tangible that I could hold again that brought me to my baby,” she said. “Everything he’s lived through all of his heartache, all of his hardship, I get to hold it right here with this little warm fuzzy pup.”
(Photo: Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 17th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, atlanta, canine assistants, casper, children, childrens healthcare of atlanta, creed, creed and casper, creed campbell, dog, friendship, hope, hospital, patients, pets, service dog, therapy dogs
A Pennsylvania service dog agency is suing an Episcopal priest with cerebral palsy to force her to give up the service dog she has had since 2007.
So reports the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.
The Rev. Claire Wimbush says it’s unlikely she could continue living on her own without Willa, a 10-year-old yellow Labrador retriever provided to her through Canine Partners for Life, a Cochranville, Pa.-based agency that says it wants the dog back for reasons not fully specified.
Canine Partners filed suit last month in Pennsylvania Supreme Court, accusing Wimbush of violating her dog care contract and asking the court to order the dog’s return — along with “reimbursement of all costs and expenses, including legal and court fees.”
Darlene Sullivan, executive director of Canine Partners, declined to comment on the specifics of Wimbush’s case, according to the Democrat and Chronicle. The newspaper is owned by Gannett Co. Inc., and the Rev. Wimbush is the daughter of Gannett Vice President Jane Ann Wimbush.
According to the lawsuit, the Rev. Wimbush did not follow the agency’s training rules, including those that require recipients of its dogs to maintain contact through follow-up reports.
“If on repeated occasions there are problems with compliance, we will place that person on probation and they will get a letter explaining everything about why and letting them know if there are further violations they will lose their dog,” the agency’s director said. “If it gets to that point, and they refuse to return the dog to us, we have no choice but to take legal action.”
The Rev. Wimbush said she believes the agency wants Willa back because she was late turning in paperwork about the dog’s health and behavior. She said the documents were mailed on March 25, but Canine Partners didn’t get them by the April 2 deadline. An email from the agency came on April 4, saying arrangements needed to be made for the dog’s return. Six days later, she says, she received a letter telling her to bring Willa to the airport for “repossession.”
“I’m bewildered by this,” said Wimbush, who who has spastic cerebral palsy quadriplegia and uses a motorized wheelchair for mobility. Wimbush served as Curate of Christian Education at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Rochester from 2011 until last weekend, and is now planning to move back to her native Virginia to be closer to her mother.
On a website supporting her campaign to keep the dog, claireandwilla.com, the Rev. Wimbush notes that Willa’s status changed in February, 2012, when she retired from being a service dog and became a home companion dog:
“My ministry had changed; I was no longer moving from place to place over the course of a day, so I didn’t need her to help me carry things and open doors as often. The Rochester winters are tough on both of us. She was nine years old, almost ten; it seemed like the right time to make a change. Since her retirement, she gets to be petted and admired by all the members of my congregation, especially the elementary school crowd. She still goes with me to the church most days, and often accompanies me when I visit parishioners in animal-friendly retirement communities…”
The reverend admits to having had trouble keeping up with the agency’s required paperwork in 2007, due to illness. The lawsuit says she has had a history of not complying with those requirements. In 2009, the suit says, Wimbush was placed on “permanent probation” and told that any future violations would result in the immediate loss of the dog.
On the Facebook page of Canine Partners for Life, the agency is taking some lumps for filing the lawsuit against the handicapped priest, and some commenters are saying it is “shameful” for it to be demanding the dog back.
“What part of ‘for life’ am I missing?” one person wrote.
It’s unusual for an agency like Canine Partners to demand a dog be returned, according to Toni Eames, president of the International Association of Assistant Dog Partners, an advocacy group of people with guide, hearing and service dogs.
“It’s a very legitimate agency, and there has to be something, mistreatment of the dog, neglect, maybe it has gained a tremendous amount of weight or there’s abuse, there‘s got to be something. Filing papers late is not a reason to demand return of a dog,” she told the newspaper.
Marsha Sweet, assistant director of independent living services for the Center for Disability Rights in Rochester, knew of only two such cases, and both times an agreement was reached allowing the person to keep the dog. “Usually, the agencies really try to remedy the situation,” she said.
The Rev. Wimbush hopes that might still happen, and an agreement can be worked out.
“I would do anything, anything, to keep my dog,” she said.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 6th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: canine partners for life, cerebral palsy, claire and willa, claire wimbush, companion dog, democrat and chronicle, disability, gannett, lawsuit, pennsylvania, piscopal, priest, repossess, retriever, return, reverend, rochester, service dog, supreme court, wheelchair, willa, yellow lab
The fight between a Florida school district and a student with autism who wanted to bring his service dog to class is over — with no real resolution.
The Collier County School Board approved a settlement last week that will pay William and Brenda Hughes $125,000 to settle a lawsuit brought forward on behalf of their son, Derek.
The suit alleged that the district violated the Individuals With Disabilities Act, the American Disabilities Act and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
In return for the Hughes dropping the complaint, and agreeing not to enroll their son in Collier County’s schools again, the district forked over the money and admitted no wrongdoing.
Hughes and his wife pulled their autistic son, Derek, from Collier public schools several years ago. He now attends school in Chester County, Pennsylvania, according to NaplesNews.com
The family had argued that the school district was negligent by not allowing the Pine Ridge Middle School student to bring his service dog to school.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 22nd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, autism, autistic, collier county, derek hughes, dogs, federal court, florida, lawsuit, naples, news, pets, school board, school district, service, service dog, settled, settlement
As the founder of one of the country’s largest service dog organizations, Jennifer Arnold has spent the last 20 years breeding, training and matching service dogs for people with disabilities or special needs.
Now she has documented that mission, which began when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age 16, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“I remember not wanting to leave the house,” she said. “I felt very awkward, scared. It surprised me how frightened I was to be left alone. You feel so vulnerable.”
Arnold’s book, “Through a Dog’s Eyes,” comes out in September. A PBS documentary based on the book and narrated by Neil Patrick Harris debuts April 21.
Arnold and her family decided to set up their own service dog training school when, as a teenager, she was diagnosed and found herself in a wheelchair. She applied, but was so far down the list that the family began making plans for their own service dog academy.
Three weeks later, though, her father, a surgeon,was hit and killed by a drunken motorcycle driver. Arnold and her mother spent the next 10 years raising funds, and incorporated on Dec. 31, 1991. They started training their first dog the next year. Canine Assistants is now among the largest service dog providers in the country.
“Through a Dog’s Eyes” looks at Arnold’s treat-based teaching methods, five of the people to which the organization has provided dogs and how the dogs have helped them regain independence.
One of them is Bryson Casey, 30, of Kansas City, Mo., who served in Iraq as a captain with the National Guard. He came home and was in a car crash that left him a quadriplegic. He and his dog Wagner bonded instantly.
Arnold is now 46, her disease is in remission and she is married to the academy’s staff veterinarian.
In the last 20 years, Canine Assistants has given away 1,000 dogs; there is a waiting list of nearly 2,000. The organization does not charge for the dogs, and will pay for food and vet bills for the life of the dogs, if needed. The recipients are asked to do community service in return.
Canine Assistants breeds its own dogs, and trains rescue and shelter dogs. There are 150 dogs in training year-round. About 5 percent fail to make the program and are placed as pets.
It costs about $22,000 to train a service dog, Arnold said.
The book can be pre-ordered from Random House.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 15th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, books, books on dogs, canine assistants, documentary, dog books, dogs, jennifer arnold, multiple sclerosis, neil patrick harris, news, ohmidog!, organization, pbs, pets, preview, service dog, service dogs, video
The owner of a western wear shop in North Carolina has apologized for kicking a 5-year-old girl’s service dog out of his store — but not until after threats of a boycott and lawsuit surfaced.
“I had no intentions to offend anyone, but if I have I apologize for it,” said Robert Bryant who owns the Western Shop in New Hanover County, N.C. He said he wasn’t famliar with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Bryant’s raspy “apology” — you can see more of it here — was in stark contrast to what he reportedly barked at the girl and her mother: “Get that (expletive) dog out of my store.”
Bryant said the dog smelled bad and he didn’t want dog hair on his merchandise, sounding much like the Colorado attorney who was hit with $50,000 in fines this week for banning a woman and her service dog from his law office, for fear it might soil his new carpet.
Ellie, a golden retriever, belongs to 5-year-old Amanda Ivancevich, who has cerebral palsy and is missing the left side of her brain. She relies on the dog to get her through the day and alert her family to pending seizures. Her mother, Susan Ivancevich, said it was Amanda’s first trip outside in a year.
“I’m a law abiding citizen, yes,” said Bryant. “I had no intentions of offending this child. I love children.” He also pointed out repeatedly that he runs a “Christian business.”
Since learning more about what the law says about service dogs, Bryant says he would act differently if Ellie walked into his store again.
After Susan Ivancevich posted a comment about the incident on Facebook, dozens have come to her support, and some have vowed to stop patronizing Bryant’s shop.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 1st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 5-year-old, amanda ivancevich, american with disabilities act, animals, apologizes, apology, banned, bans, cerebral palsy, kicked out, n.c., new hanover county, news, north carolina, ohmidog!, pets, robert bryant, service dog, store, susan ivancevich, western shop