As her son Drew turned seven, Linda decided it was time to try a new approach to help him: a 4 Paws service dog.
“We decided to look into service dogs and applied to several places but we were by far the most impressed with 4 Paws,” she says. “They had quick communication and a clear process, timeline, and supports every step of the process.”
Living with autism, PTSD, and increasing strokes, Drew was learning, and often re-learning, life. “He has had to relearn to walk, talk, basically everything 5 times,” Linda says. “He is a complex case with multiple contributors and he has to have someone with him at all times. The larger strokes have hit quickly and left him unable to seek help.”
In June 2023, Drew, and his family, found the help he had been seeking in Vivi. “It was immediately a game changer. The second night I woke up to her barking and alerting me that Drew was having a nightmare,” Linda remembers. “I’ve been able to sleep through the night since then,” and Drew “sleeps better with her there than he ever has before.”
In just a couple of months, Linda says her son “is much more relaxed in general. He’s made huge strides in his physical recovery from his last stroke with Vivi here and has regained a level of independence he had lost since the strokes started. She helps him regulate his sensory needs through overwhelming moments and our family as a whole is less anxious.”
“I see joy in my son again. He is healing emotionally and physically much faster,” says Linda. “Vivi gives an unconditional love to him that is helping Drew be more open to the world.”