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Eli's Story

 I was pregnant with Eli in 2003. I was 4 months along and was in a horrible car accident (passenger). The doctors told me, minus my injuries, everything with Eli looked amazing until that September morning when something felt wrong. I was 35 weeks along and went into labor. Eli had to be taken by emergency c-section due to having a stroke inside me from the contractions.

When Eli was two weeks old he started having seizures that had caused brain damage. The doctors said he could have special needs due to the brain damage. We never expected this......

A few years ago, Eli was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome. As he gets older and his hormones change, the Tourette Syndrome tends to be no longer manageable. Eli is on hands full of medicine many times a day to keep under it control.

Eli also has ADHD as well and O.D.D. He suffers from bad anxiety and panic attacks. The Tourette Syndrome tends to make it worse. Two years ago, my wonderful son and his baby sister woke to find their daddy had passed away in the same bed with them, which added the diagnosis of PTSD.

The doctors have prescribed a service dog for Eli, his own little "Angel". We will be finally able to reduce the needs of the medicine, giving him better mobility during rougher times with Tourette Syndrome, the PTSD, and all the other issues that go along with all his different disabilities. Having his own service dog will give him a much more free and enjoyable life!

Click for Pictures of Eli

Dale and Fionna


 As a soldier you do many things to prep for a war to defend your  country. And then you go through even more as a soldier when you fight  in those wars. But through all the training and battles there is one  thing that you will always have. And that is your battle, battle buddy,  or what ever you chose to call them, by your side. You have two  family's, your everyday family and then the soldiers you train and fight  with family. Well that battle buddy will move on to another unit, die  in combat, or no longer be in the military. So in some cases that friend  will be with you till you die. But not in mine and that is where Fionna  comes in.


     Fionna is my battle buddy that goes with me everywhere  just like it was in the Army. People are always asking what does your  dog do for you or can I pet your dog and so on. Well first of all her  name is Fionna and the only thing you need to know is that she alerts me  or others around me of a medical emergency that I am having or about to  have. And because Fionna is a part of me you have pet me too.

    But this info, not a story, is for others out there that  need a service animal/your other half. So If I have a flash back she  will comfort me with hugs and kisses until it goes away. She won't hound  me about what it was about or I can tell her and she won't tell anyone  else. When I have a panic attack, depending on what set it off, she will  actually pull me away to a less active place to where I can regain  focus. And she will still give me hug and kisses. When I get get my  headaches she will stay by my side until they pass. The cool one is if I  get light headed or dizzy like I might pass out she will plant her butt  on the ground and not move. Which makes me stop from moving around to  avoid a fall.

    With my knee injuries Fionna will go up and down stairs  slowly. She will help pull me up an incline. And if I find myself  wanting to get on the ground or off the ground she will hold her ground  to assist me in that as well. Here lately Fionna has gone up to my knee  and started to smell or lick it. And then very soon after that I can  feel my knee hurting. Ya awesome right.


    Fionna has also helped me in some of my  short term memory. I wont forget about the wife and kids that I have but  when they are not around that is where Fionna is truly a gift from God.  Between doctor appointments I can talk to Fionna about all of my  problems. Even the ones that I haven't shared with behavioral med doctor  because it is still to hard to bring up. I talk to Fionna about what we  will do for the day, what I'm going to eat, how we are going to walk  through a store, what route we will take and if I have to change the  route cause I feel unsafe, let's just say I talk to Fionna about it all.

With Fionna in my life I  feel that the bad things mentally and physically that have happened to  me, she makes me feel as a hole unit again. When I get mad, she makes me  happy. Sadness is the worst one but Fionna will lick my tears away. I  can go on forever but I won't. But because of Fionna I feel that life is  worth fighting for and I don't feel like fighting the world, more like  helping it out a little. And if I feel like hiding from the world in  fear of judgment of looking like a freak, I'll will be ok because Fionna  and I will talk it through.

    So here is a question, you asked me if I  would rather take meds all the time or a service dog.....I would take a  Fionna every time. I can't talk to the pill or cry on the pill or even  depend on the pill at times. So this is how Fionna helps me, Fionna is a  mommy, doctor, sister, happy pill, pain pill, but most important a  battle buddy that will be by my side to fight my enemies with me every  second of the day. She reminds me 3 times a day to take my medicine  & she wont stop until I do. But with having her, life is changing  for me & I can do things  I never thought I would again. I'm able to  be apart of my family, as Fionna is a part of my family.

Click here for pictures of Dale and Fiona

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