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Dylan Harper

    Our boy Dylan is 6 years old and an our absolute world. Dylan loves the wind, jumping, swimming, and climbing as high as he can! He has the most beautiful smile and he has a knack for melting you with his kisses. At about 2 ½ Dylan was diagnosed with Level 3 autism at the time he was nonverbal. Dylan remains nonverbal at the age of 6. However, he communicates with us in many different ways! We had just started to catch our footing and understand his autism diagnosis when he was diagnosed with epilepsy just a couple of months ago.
    With Dylan’s autism comes many gifts such as appreciating the wind or finding small details in
    everyday life that our eyes often look over. However, Dylan also has many struggles on a daily basis that makes his life difficult day to day and causes him a lot of stress. The obvious is his communication struggles and then his lack of awareness for safety. His safety is always a top
    concern for us as it is his favorite activity is to run away to seek out new adventures. He can run
    across the street and not look for cars, he will attract himself to the nearest body of water and
    this is obviously scary for many reasons. If he is lost he will not communicate or yell out where
    his location is. His daily life is severely interrupted by the effects of his autism diagnosis. One
    example of this lack of safety awareness came this summer when Dylan slipped out of our
    fence in a blink of an eye and he was missing for about 30minutes. This was the turning point
    for us as his parents when we decided we needed to intervene and find other ways to keep him
    safe.


    After years of worrying and many close calls we seeked out help to keep Dylan safe. After
    speaking to other people in our community and his medical team we were led to 4 Paws for
    Ability. We believe a service dog would be life changing for Dylan for many reasons. The most
    important skill a service dog would bring would the training a dog can receive to tether
    themselves to Dylan when in public keeping him safe and near. Then the tracking that they
    would be trained to do by seeking out Dylan’s scent alone if he were to ever be lost. Finally, a
    service dog can be trained to pick up scents for seizure activity specific to Dylan and alert us
    when one is happening so we can move him to a safe place. Those are all so important and
    our main reasons for seeking a service dog for Dylan but we also think this could provide a
    companion for our boy. A friend perhaps.


    Service animals cost anywhere from 40-60k to train and raise from birth and 4 Paws asks for
    their families to raise 20k to offset the cost of training a dog specifically for you. This is a long
    process with the wait time being about 2 years but we are confident that Dylan will benefit
    greatly from this and exponentially better his life and ours. As a parent you will do whatever it
    takes to keep your kids safe and get them what they need. This is our passion and focus until
    we can get Dylan what he needs and deserves. Please consider donating what you can to our
    cause and our boy. Every penny helps. Spread the word and make sure you make the donation
    in Dylan’s name. We greatly appreciate you taking time to learn more about our boy. We are so
    lucky to have family, friends and a community that wants to help and give!

    Contribute to Dylan’s dog below