My family calls me Mitzy and I am a nearly 4-year-old princess and sister. I have a personality that lights up the room, I’m outgoing, imaginative, artistic, and energetic.
I was born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) which is an invisible disability that has lifelong mental, physical, and emotional difficulties. I am unable to control my impulses or predict outcomes, I can be hyperactive, I don’t understand cause and effect, I have memory deficits that affect my ability to recall past experiences, and I have a hard time controlling my emotions. Small things like bright lights, loud sounds, or simply being hungry overwhelm me and when I am overwhelmed it’s likely I will react by exploding into behaviors that are unpredictible and I can’t control. My brain gets stuck in fight or flight mode and when I’m operating from the “danger” part of my brain, I put myself and others in danger either with aggression or by running away, and I can run fast!
I was adopted in 2019 after spending the first 726 days of my life in the foster care system, during which I was exposed to a lot of uncertainty which caused some attachment issues with my family and PTSD. In 2018 when I was just 8 months old, I had my first surgery to correct an airway malformation, but the surgery wasn’t enough and at just 18 months old I had to undergo a second surgery. I participate in many therapies that support my physical and developmental needs, including PT, OT, and behavioral therapy. I have been developmentally delayed most of my life and in the beginning suffered from many health issues that required the use of thickened liquids and medical equipment to keep me breathing at night. I’ve come so far in 4 short years however my condition is lifelong, and I will need support for the rest of my life.
I love animals so much that one of my favorite activities in the community is our weekly trip to the SPCA to play with the local shelter pets. I have always easily connected with animals and recently my family was approved by 4 Paws For Ability to receive a service dog specifically trained to meet my unique needs. My service dog would be a support for me that could help keep me safe in times when I am overwhelmed by recognizing when I am starting to lose control of my emotions or by stepping up to engage me if I do lose control to keep me and others safe.
A service dog would mean more independence for me when I am outside of my home. Using a tethering system since I am at risk of running away, my family could have peace of mind that my dog would stay by my side and if I were to run my service dog would track me by using my scent, so cool! On top of the many benefits a service dog would offer our family, the most important benefit for me is a best friend, offering me stability and unconditional love.
We are so grateful to be partnering with 4 Paws!