My name is Lisa. Without a service dog, I can’t independently live my life. I have cerebral palsy and use a powerchair. I need a dog to be able to pick things up, open/close doors, turn the lights on/off, get help, get the phone, and much more. I’ve been on the waiting list for a program dog for two years and I’m still waiting.
The money would be to cover travel costs; whether I get a program dog or find a dog to train myself. The program asks us to stay in a hotel for 12 days of “transfer training” The money would help with gas, the hotel, meals, and the like. If I find a dog sooner, I will use the money to help with travel to the dog, pay for the dog, and pay a backup trainer on the days I’m in a lot of pain or can’t train for another reason.
Let me tell you a bit more about Vivian and me. I brought Vivi home as a 9-week old puppy; with the intention of training her as my second service dog. At the time, my first service dog, Ethan was 8, and I knew by the time Vivian was fully trained Ethan would be on the road to retirement.
Ethan was the apple of my eye, he sparked my interest in dog training. Ethan was trained by a program. At the time, they asked only $500 for a dog. Now they ask $15,000. I knew I had the skills to train my own dog, so that is why I chose to go with a puppy. Ethan passed four years ago and Vivian took over the 24/7 job flawlessly.
Vivian has been my service dog since she was 3 years old. She is now 10 &1/2, and it’s time for her to retire. She doesn’t think so, but I think it’s important she spends her golden years being a dog, doing what and when she pleases.
We are in Successor Dog Limbo right now. I need some help to offset training costs whether I train a dog myself or go with a program. We’ve been asked by a program to stay in a hotel if we are invited for a dog.
The hotel would be somewhere around $100-$150 a day. For 12 days, and because we won’t be staying in the dorms, we also have to figure in money for gas and meals. The other option means a lot of money spent on training – way beyond what I am asking, but this would really help our budget a lot.