My name is Tabitha and I am a twenty-one-year-old girl with a debilitating form of Muscular Dystrophy. Since my diagnosis in fourth grade, I have struggled endlessly with physically getting around school and my home. After eight surgeries on both legs and my spine, I was unable to get around my large campus and began to study at home. I missed my interactive academic life and daily encounters with my friends, but was forced to remain home because of my severe balance and strength deficits in my legs and core.
All of this changed when my parents purchased my trained service dog Sunny. Sunny was a beautiful, shy, two-year-old German Shepherd. We immediately bonded. Sunny was trained to support me while I walk, pick anything I drop up off the ground and run messages for me around my school and home. He was amazing. After several months of training together, Sunny and I were a team. I entered eighth grade at the Waterford School in Sandy, with Sunny by my side. We both thrived at school, I quickly made friends who all loved Sunny, and he rapidly adjusted to the routine of school, walking down school hallways as if he owned them.
With the help of family and friends I decided to found Pawsitive Pawsibilities in order to raise funds to train and place service dogs with other children. After meeting a service dog placed with a wounded warrior, I decided to expand to veterans as well. The process of selecting, training and placing service dogs is lengthy and expensive, consuming approximately 20,000 dollars and 2 to 3 years of training. My foundation seeks to raise money to fund service dogs for families unable to afford one. I know how Sunny changed my life, and I want to offer my experience to others. Pawsitive Pawsibilities seeks to fund service dog teams across the country for children with physical disability, teams that are confident in any situation and allow the human partner to experience the unconditional love of an animal and a confidence and freedom previously unknown.
So far, we have succeeded in raising money for the placement fees for ten service dogs. Our dogs serve across the country, with people with very different needs. We are going to continue to raise money and awareness, and hopefully will place multiple dogs in upcoming years. As our organization is entirely donations-based, any help is much appreciated and is tax-deductible. 100% of donations are set aside for the purchase of dogs; all legal and promotional costs will be covered personally.