Hello my FAITH-ful readers! I hope you’re enjoying the fall and playing in leaves like I have been! Our pack has such ‘paw-some’ news that you’ll be jumping all over the place! We have a new addition to our pack- Wyatt & HUNDLEY are now part of the maCares Service Dog Support Program! I’m spinning in circles I’m so happy!!!
HUNDLEY is such a pretty girl and when I told her that, she hid her face with her paws! I think I made her blush!!! I asked about their story and HUNDLEY eagerly shared it. She traveled all the way from the Czech Republic to train as a neurological assistance dog. She said that she sniffed Wyatt for the first time in February 2017 when Wyatt was 8 years old.
Over the next few months, Wyatt and his family traveled about 3 hours round trip to visit HUNDLEY, train together, and build their relationship with her before taking her home. During visits, they worked on walking together, Wyatt having control of her, going to stores, and being around and staying by a grocery cart. They also went to the mall and tested out over-stimulating places such as Dave and Busters.
HUNDLEY wanted to go home with Wyatt to help him on the difficult trips for Wyatt to help prevent meltdowns, but she knew she needed to finish her training. In July 2017, HUNDLEY was able to go home with Wyatt.
Wyatt’s mom shared that every day before HUNDLEY was a struggle and now they have less bad days and more good days. HUNDLEY has helped Wyatt’s behavior change, especially while riding in the car. One of Wyatt’s largest struggles seems to be with emotional meltdowns which can be extremely dangerous, both for himself and others. One meltdown happened in March 2017, when Wyatt’s mom was trying to ease his anxiety and fear while in the car. They hit a guardrail on the interstate, totaling the car. Thankfully no one was seriously injured, but things could have been a lot worse. HUNDLEY is helping to prevent situations like that from happening.
Wyatt’s childhood has been full of many medicinal changes, therapists, psychiatrists, one inpatient hospital stay, and multiple ER visits. Wyatt has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD), and Social/Separational Anxiety. He is undergoing psychological testing for Autism.
HUNDLEY is a beautiful Briard, whose original purpose as a breed was to herd. When Wyatt is in his flight mode, HUNDLEY uses learned commands to touch him and try to bring him back to his family or teacher. HUNDLEY will herd Wyatt when he attempts to flee from an anxious situation. Having HUNDLEY’s companionship and presence helps keep “a paw” on the situation and diffuses potential meltdowns at their earliest sign. Her coat also serves as a tactile response.
Wyatt enjoys playing a game with HUNDLEY called “Briard Relay.” Wyatt also loves to play Minecraft, soccer, create artwork, and visit the trampoline park. When he grows up, he would like to be a professional WWE wrestler.
Please help us celebrate and support Wyatt & HUNDLEY joining the family! Be sure to check out all of the maCares & faith Cares service dog teams at www.maCares.org. Stay up-to-date on the events maCares holds to raise money to stay committed to ‘Helping Service Dogs Help Others’ by following us on Facebook and all social media accounts.
Together we are helping to make a difference in the lives of others. Would you please consider making a tax deductible donation or purchasing from our Facebook Shop so we are able to help more service dog teams and rescued animals in need?
Check back soon for updates from yours truly!
Wags and licks,
This article was written by FAITH
My name is FAITH, and I'm a service dog to Sgt Terry White, PH IOF. You've probably seen me around the Market America office or at one of their events. I'm the pretty blonde with the big smile The wonderful maCares team is pretty fond of me, and they've decided to devote each Friday's blog post to my stories, pearls of wisdom, and "tails" of others giving back to their communities. We'll call it "Fridays with Faith". What you may not know about me is that I'm named after someone special. The flag that represents this great country flies high on the flag pole for my namesake's sacrifice. I am named in memory of U.S. Army Sergeant Faith Hinkley, who died on August 7, 2010 in Iskandariya, Iraq. Faith was part of the 502nd Military Intelligence Battalion, 201st Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. Through me, Faith Hinkley's legacy lives on, helping and healing another wounded soldier. maCares loves making a difference in the lives of veterans and animals. Please consider donating or getting involved with maCares so they can continue supporting veterans and dogs like Terry and me, and honoring heroes like Faith Hinkley.