Earle — Service
In 2007 I was a snowboarder competing at USASA Nationals when I had a crash that resulted in a spinal cord injury, paralyzing me from my waist down. I returned to the snow and competition as an adaptive ski racer, my hopes set on being a Paralympian. After another injury in 2014 I lost some of my hand and arm function. Tasks that were once easy became more difficult and my independence was compromised. I turned to NEADS for help. On Christmas Eve 2015 I was matched with Earle. Since then, we live life together, one adventure to another, doing our best to educate, advocate and care for those who need it most.
Earle is my link to independence. He does the typical tasks of a Service Dog, including fetching dropped items, opening doors and calling elevators. He travels with me internationally, flying in the cabin and helps me negotiate new environments while educating the public about the role of service dogs and the importance of public access.
In addition, Earle goes to work with me in memory care unit. He not only allows me to do my job but he assists our residents in many ways. He is a friendly, comforting presence when our residents are lonely or confused and he encourages his friends to socialize. Earle dries tears, comforts his elderly friends during loss or illness and provides endless opportunities for laughter, fun and play. Everyone agrees that Earle makes waking up to face the day worthwhile.
Earle is a special dog with a special heart who shares his love worldwide.