Stories of Independence

Ava & Hawaii

In 2018, Ava received the gift of independence when she was matched with Skilled Companion Hawaii. Ava has a form of muscular dystrophy called nemolyn myopathy, and she mostly uses a wheelchair for mobility. “Hawaii tugs me out of bed; it’s the best,” shares Ava.

“The amount of change and hope that this organization has brought to our family and will bring to other families – it’s priceless,” shares Ava’s mother, Cynthia.

Thanks to the generosity of donors, Ava is living more independently. And it’s all provided FREE of charge thanks to donors like you.

“It’s like a weight has been lifted off of all of our shoulders, because I know that she has a connection with her dog, Hawaii brings hope to Ava and motivates her,” shares Cynthia.


Victor & Violet

When Victor was looking for a way to help reduce the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a psychiatrist at his local Veterans Affairs medical center suggested a service dog from Canine Companions. In February 2020, Victor was matched with Service Dog Violet, who is trained in commands specifically designed to help mitigate PTSD symptoms.

“She’s the best thing that ever happened to me. Violet is amazing and so well-trained. Since I’ve had her, I’ve been calmer and more relaxed,” shares Victor. Expertly trained in over 40 commands, Violet wakes Victor up from nightmares, interrupts panic attacks, turns on lights in dark rooms and creates a buffer when out in crowded public spaces and so much more!

While it costs up to $50,000 to train and match each service dog, Violet was provided completely FREE of charge because of donors like you!


Shylah & Freddy

Shylah has muscular dystrophy which can make day-to-day tasks more difficult to accomplish without assistance. Everything changed this year when Shylah was matched with Service Dog Freddy. Freddy has enhanced Shylah’s independence by leaps and bounds. “Life at home with Freddy is the best. The biggest impact Freddy has had on my life is just having him by my side,” shares Shylah.

Expertly trained in 40 commands to increase independence, Freddy opens doors, picks up dropped items such as keys or her cellphone, turning on and off lights, and much more.

“I know I will always be able to rely on Freddy. He is the sweetest boy you’ll ever meet,” says Shylah.

Change the life of a child, adult or veteran with a disability when you donate today. Thanks to donors like you, our mission can continue.


Your gift will help provide expertly trained service dogs to people with disabilities. You can change a life – donate today!