I am a graduate of the UNCW Assistance Dog Training Program and I have trained with 5 successful Assistance Dogs that have gone on to change the lives of their clients for the better. ASPEN was the 6th dog I worked with and it goes without saying that he has changed my life.
In 2012, I went through a bout of parvovirus B-19, otherwise known as “Fifths Disease”. Ever since, I have been left with unexplained pain despite many years of medical testing. Due to the ever-changing weather of eastern North Carolina, it is always a guessing game if that day is going to have my joints aching, the palms of my hands feeling like they’re on fire, or worse. I also have been fighting through Major Depressive Disorder and Panic Disorder since I was 11 years old which makes interacting in crowded, public spaces and my many doctor visits a struggle. ASPEN is a master at gaining my attention during tough moments and reminding me to focus on him when I get overstimulated.
ASPEN has definitely made my life with my physical and mental ailments much more bearable with his goofy yet gentle personality. I thank everything I believe in that he chose me to be “his” person and I know together we can get through whatever life has in store for us.