If anyone is familiar with the benefits of a service dogs’ work, it is Liz.  With the help of a dog trainer found in her area, Liz has trained two different dogs for service work.  Liz has enjoyed the help of a service dog since 2001.  When her latest service dog was nearing retirement, Liz discovered Assistance Dogs for Achieving Independence on the internet.

“ADAI was the closest agency in Ohio to me, and it looked like it could meet all of my needs,” Liz said.  In 2012, she applied to ADAI.  Diagnosed with Sarcoidosis and Cerebellar Ataxia, she struggles with balance while walking and picking up dropped items throughout the day.  “When I have a dog, it allows my family to do what they need to do instead of taking care of me.  Without a dog, I do not go out as often to knitting group, shopping, or out by myself because I get overwhelmed.  Having a service dog could bring back my confidence.” DSC_3620

In 2015, along came a dog named Cedar.  ADAI thought this two-year-old chocolate lab would be a great match for Liz.  Cedar was very attentive and in-tune with Liz from the very beginning.  Liz worked hard during ADAI’s two-week team training period to learn all of Cedar’s commands; many of them being different than ones she had used with her previous service dogs.

Liz received Cedar at ADAI’s 2015 Fall Graduation class.  In only six short months, Cedar has impacted her life in several different ways. To say that Cedar has helped Liz’s independence is a huge understatement. For the first time in time in five years, she was able to drive herself to go out to lunch with a friend. Before she had Cedar, her husband Scott would always drive and accompany her.  With her new service dog by her side and an enormous amount of new confidence, Liz was able to drive herself.  Liz and Scott are even considering buying a second car since she is so comfortable with going out with Cedar as a companion. ADAI is very proud of this new team, and are very happy with her new found independence that Cedar has helped Liz achieve.