Meet Our Newest Graduates: August 2022

These eight are just great!

September is National Service Dog Month, the perfect time to share stories of how these loyal, loving, and highly skilled dogs transform the lives of their human partners. We’re so proud of our newest FSD graduates as they experience greater independence, self-confidence, and happiness alongside their Freedom Service Dogs.

Terry & Raisin

Terry is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran with PTSD who enjoys volunteering at the American Legion, listening to ‘60s folk music, and hiking in the mountains near his home. In addition to being Terry’s four-legged battle buddy, Raisin assists his partner by retrieving dropped items and creating space around Terry in crowds. This team is sponsored by The Dixie Foundation.

Kaitlin & Soleil

Kaitlin is a sophomore in high school who lives with a rare genetic mutation that causes neurocognitive disabilities, as well as visual impairment and epilepsy. Service dog Soleil helps Kaitlin by interrupting anxious behaviors or outbursts, redirecting her attention in stressful situations, and providing calming sensory input by resting or leaning on Kaitlin. This team is sponsored by Gilda Kaplan.

Claire & Indie

Claire is a young woman with autism who enjoys movies and playing sports, and is eagerly anticipating her upcoming marriage to her high school sweetheart. Indie is Claire’s first successor dog, following in the much-loved pawprints of Freedom Service Dog Frosty. Indie will help provide reassurance and grounding to Claire, as well as interruption when Claire feels anxious and deep-pressure, full-body cover to calm her.

Laz & Cranberry

Laz is a bright, engaging 16-year-old with a dazzling smile. Service dog Cranberry is helping him build towards greater independence by retrieving dropped items, opening doors, and distracting him from emotional outbursts with a face full of puppy kisses. Laz loves admiring fast cars and driving his side-by-side ATV when he’s not multitasking video games and Cranberry cuddles on the couch.

Marshall & Bacon

Marshall is a law school student, avid skier, and active-duty member of the U.S. Army Special Forces who lives with PTSD and pain from a fractured back and other injuries. Service dog Bacon assists Marshall by retrieving items, creating space around him at school and in crowds, and helping him feel more comfortable in public. This team is sponsored by AnnieMac Home Mortgage.

Katie & Cadence

Katie is a vocational rehabilitation counselor and U.S. Army veteran living with PTSD and limited mobility due to hip and lower-back conditions. Service dog Cadence is the successor to Katie’s first FSD service dog, Tatum, who has retired and is enjoying his golden years in Katie’s home. Cadence assists Katie by retrieving her cane and other items, waking her from nightmares, and creating space around her in crowds. This team is sponsored by AnnieMac Home Mortgage.

Will & Fig

Will is a recent high school graduate with autism who enjoys coding and hanging out with all three of his Labrador retrievers. As Will pursues his education in computer science, service dog Fig will help him feel more comfortable around peers at technology school, interrupt anxious behaviors, act as an alarm clock by nudging him awake, and give Will more confidence in social environments.

Christie & Chorizo

Christie’s total left leg and hip amputation haven’t stopped her from living a busy and active life, including working a full-time job and riding adaptive bikes with her husband. Service dog Chorizo assists Christie by retrieving items, helping load her wheelchair into the family van, and giving her the confidence to go wherever she wants, whenever she wants, on her own.

Interested in sponsoring one of our future teams? Contact Shanda Griebel at [email protected] or 303-922-6231 ext. 240.

Contact Erin Conley at [email protected]freedomservicedogs.org for all media inquiries.