I created and implemented the Wonderment Service Dog Placement Program because of needs created by a traumatic accident I had several years ago. My doctors stated that due to the amount of broken bones and extensive nerve damage sustained from the accident, I would never walk again or have the ability to use my left side. I was in ICU for 30 days, then had to stay in the hospital for another 90 days. I was flat on my back for 9 months and in a full body cast for 18 months.
I received a service dog in 2011 named Massey. Massey was trained to retrieve dropped items on command and to assist me in my wheelchair as my accident left me where I was unable to bend over and unable to hold onto items. As I went through physical therapy and began to learn to walk again, she would balance me to help me walk and pick up the items I would drop continuously. She was by my side every moment giving me emotional support, which helped me from going into a state of deep depression.
Throughout my recovery, I met many other disabled people and realized the need of a Service Dog, such as Massey, to help with their recovery and life in general. I spent two years after my recovery becoming a Certified Trainer for Service Dogs. I strongly felt the need to give back to the community. The first dog I trained was for a quadriplegic and I knew at that time this was my calling.
I began training for the returning veterans in need of assistance with mobility. During that time, I was made aware of the other medical conditions that veterans may have incurred during their time of service, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and Anxiety and Depression. PTSD dogs can have a large range of tasks depending upon the individual’s needs. Some of the tasks may include watching their handler’s back, waking them out of a nightmare, night terror, or flashback, retrieving their medications or reminding their handler to take their medication when needed, removing them from a panic or anxiety attack induced situation, and keeping them from going into deep depression. Every person has different needs, and every dog that goes through WSDPP has a program designed to meet the individual needs of their handler. I understand that these disabilities are not limited to veterans only.
All our Service Dogs are trained under the American Disability Act (ADA). I am currently working with children with autism, returning veterans, as well as other people whom have been diagnosed with disabilities. As we learn more about the methods to employ and benefits these dogs can provide, the numbers of those that have need for a Service Dog increases and we help improve the quality of more lives and their family dynamics. This fact has been well proven and documented. These dogs are being used in many situations to assist various needs and are very successful. As a disabled handler, I understand firsthand the quality of training that a Service Dog needs to serve a disabled handler well.
I started this 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to help others with diagnosed disabilities have a better quality of life. We rely on donations throughout. Your donations are helping the people in need of a Service Dog who cannot afford all the costs involved. A fully trained, certified Service Dog can run up to a $50,000 price range in costs during the time it takes to complete the intensive training process. Donations are very much appreciated and can be made via PayPal by clicking the button below or checks can be mailed to WSDPP, 44 Spring Road, Lake Ozark, MO 65049. Please include a return address to which you would like your tax deductible receipt mailed.