Meet Our Newest Graduates: March 2022

Six terrific new teams graduated from FSD in March, including three clients with mobility challenges, two youths with autism, and one social worker. We’re so proud of them for their hard work and positive attitude, and we’re thrilled to announce that five of the six dogs on those teams are FSD born and bred! That’s a big milestone and an achievement we expect to build on as more of our young pups grow up into life-changing service dogs.

Shelby & Lynx

Shelby is a member of FSD’s Client Services team, a country music fan, and a social worker who graduated with professional therapy dog Lynx. Shelby and Lynx have joined forces to provide in-home animal-assisted therapy to children and youths who are working on building confidence and developing empathy and relationship skills.

MaKayla & Antero

MaKayla is a young woman with cerebral palsy who loves the outdoors and tending the animals on her father’s farm. She recently graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in psychology and hopes to work with youths in the criminal justice system. Service dog Antero assists MaKayla by retrieving her crutches and phone, opening doors, tugging off her socks, and accompanying MaKayla to her job as a youth specialist at a Boys & Girls Club.

Uri & Pesto

Uri is a young woman living with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, a rare condition causing multiple joint contractures that limit flexibility and range of motion. Uri, who lives with her grandmother in southern Colorado, is taking college courses with the goal of becoming a biomedical engineer. Service dog Pesto is helping Uri become more independent by picking up dropped items, opening and closing doors, tugging off clothing, accompanying her on walks so grandma doesn’t worry, and boosting Uri’s confidence when they head off together to college next year.

Patricia & Teller

Patricia is a retired professor of social work, published author, community activist, and lover of music and dancing who lives with multiple sclerosis. She is a leader and champion of women and minorities through her political activism and community work from her home base in Pueblo, Colorado. Service dog Teller assists Patricia by retrieving dropped items, opening and closing doors, and creating space around her at peace marches, outdoor concerts, and art festivals.

Kayli & Oakley

Kayli is a young woman with autism who works as a manager at a nonprofit organization that shelters victims of domestic abuse. She enjoys training her two rescue dogs and caring for foster pets at the home she shares with her mother and sister in Orlando, Florida. Service dog Oakley helps Kayli by creating space around her in public, providing deep pressure, and interrupting stress behaviors.

Seth & Echo

Seth is a 9-year-old boy with autism and ADHD who loves playing video games. Skilled companion dog Echo is helping Seth navigate the growing pains and sensitivities of being 9 and living in a busy household by providing deep pressure, companionship, and the energy to keep up with this active young boy.

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