Beethoven — Guide / Hearing

Location: Loveland, Colorado

I suffer from Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS). SJS burns you alive from the inside out. At age nine 75% of my body was covered in second and third-degree burns. My parents were told if I survived I would be blind, deaf, permanently on a feeding tube, and would never be able to breathe on my own. Boy, were they wrong! Not only did I survive, but I also lived.

Yes, my eyes, ears, lungs, heart, etc… don’t work great all the time, but it does not keep me from being the best person I can possibly be. Beethoven fills in the gaps so that all my broken parts are whole.

Service Dog? Beethoven is the definition of a service dog. Each morning he nudges me a few minutes before my alarm goes off. He waits patiently as I get my painful body moving. He stands in front of the stairs until I find the railing and we begin our day. He guides me to the bus to head to work at the non-profit, No Barriers. In the office he greets everyone making sure their workday starts off with a smile.

When we are not working for No Barriers we are volunteering for the Lions. We visit clubs and share our story inspiring them to continue to be Knights of the Blind. Beethoven shakes everyone’s hand who donates.

Beethoven is my hero every moment of every day. Beethoven is a Guide Dog because I can not see, but he is so much more to me and everyone who meets him.