Personal Experience Driving Passionate Response
Anything’s PAWSible is very personal to our founder, Jennifer and her son, Colton. While Jennifer was pregnant with Colton, she suffered from eclamptic seizures one night that caused her to stop breathing. Luckily, her husband was able to stabilize her and provide CPR until paramedics arrived and rushed Jennifer to the hospital. Shortly after arriving at the hospital, her placenta ruptured and Jennifer was rushed into an emergency c-section. After delivery, Colton was initially unresponsive, requiring resuscitation, and later that day began suffering from seizures as well. He was quickly transported to a different hospital nearly an hour away where he could receive more specialized care. Despite the odds, Colton and Jennifer recovered in their separate hospitals
over the following weeks and returned home.
Several months later, the family noticed some developmental delays in their baby boy. After many evaluations and tests Colton was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. The next few years became all about supporting their little guy as much as possible and helping him navigate the limitations of his body in order to live a happy, healthy life.
Colton has always loved animals; he developed an incredibly special and unmistakable bond with a family friend's Labrador Retriever named Carter. It seemed like no matter how hard of a day Colton may have been having, Carter's presence provided him with so much comfort and joy. It was watching this unique bond, coupled with his improving physical abilities, that led the family to consider whether or not Colton would be a good candidate for a service dog.
They were surprised to discover that one of the few organizations in the country to offer this service to young children was not far from their home. They immediately submitted an application for consideration. As more and more information was gathered, they discovered that while this would be an amazing opportunity for their son, the initial financial obligation to acquiring a service dog would be quite the obstacle to overcome.
It was at this moment the idea for Anything's PAWSible began to form. Jennifer realized she could do something to make this opportunity not only more attainable for Colton, but for any child with a disability. Any medical professional will tell you that early intervention, therapies, and support will drastically improve a child's chance towards overcoming even the most challenging of obstacles. Therefore, having access to a service dog as early as possible could be yet another tool to help a child push beyond boundaries that would otherwise stand in their way.
In a time when childcare expenses are outrageously high, the additional medical and therapy bills that accompany a special needs child alone are more than enough to cause financial strain for a family. Anything's PAWSible wants to break down any barriers that limit a families' access to service dogs; providing education and financial support to help families acquire service dogs for their children across the nation.
We know first hand of the challenges facing these children and families on a daily basis. We do not want such an amazingly positive opportunity to be ruled out due to costs being out of reach. The incredible bond between a child and their service dog will yield immeasurable benefits that will change their lives forever.
We want to be part of this change.