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“A ‘Normal’ Life Again”: Gloria & Timmy’s Story

    “We were at our wits end before we found 4 Paws.”

    Stephanie and David were looking for a solution for the overwhelming challenges that having a child with autism brings.

    “We researched different companies, and truly appreciated the individual attention to the family, and especially the child for whom the dog would be bred and trained,” Timmy’s mom Stephanie said. “The staff, from breeders to trainers and veterinarians, are top notch at 4 Paws.”

    Meanwhile, on December 5th, 2019, their solution came in the form of a newborn golden retriever. From her start at the Puppy House, with a stop in the 4 Paws Prison Program at the Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex, and socializing with our volunteers at Kent State, Gloria’s path to placement ended with Timmy.

    “Timmy fell in love instantly, and it was a very emotional time with the excitement and energy.” Stephanie said. “We truly appreciated the time spent with one of the staff, assisting with the bonding process with Timmy.”

    Gloria’s path to Timmy has been completed, but their future together is still being paved.
    “Timmy improved to a straight A student overnight.” Stephanie said. “He progressed from barely approaching grade level on his exams to mastering his exams in one single semester, and he was the only student out of 450 kids to make 100% on the social studies exam in his school!”

    Gloria’s service was changing Timmy’s trajectory, but at the same time, was healing their family as a whole. “Our family life has improved immensely. We no longer have five to six hour meltdowns.” Stephanie said. “Gloria knows before we do. She runs to Timmy to calm him before the meltdown even starts and it is over in less than five minutes now!”

    Timmy’s life was not only becoming normal, but his mom says Gloria is helping him excel. “Timmy has a best friend and companion to help him through the tough times of life. Gloria has actually encouraged social skills out of Timmy as he is now the life of the party any place he goes and he has friends for the first time in his life whom he actually interacts with in a positive manner.”

    “She is the ‘team’ dog for both his high school and club swim team, and all of the kids know that if they need a little comfort from the overstimulating loud environment of swim meets, that Timmy is always willing to share Gloria for some extra comfort and loving.”Today, Stephanie and David are not only living with a brighter future, but they are also providing other families with that opportunity as well by donating monthly to 4 Paws for Ability. “We think that 4 Paws is an incredible and responsible charity. We choose to give back as the best way we know how to thank 4 Paws and the donors who made it possible for Gloria to join our family,  and give our little boy, now a young man, a much more normal life.”

    “We cannot thank 4 Paws enough for giving our son so much more of a ‘normal’ life again!”