Nine new teams honored at Summer 2020 Virtual Graduation
On August 27, the first-ever virtual graduation ceremony at Freedom Service Dogs took place, during which FSD supporters from all over the country tuned in to honor the hard work and accomplishments of our nine newest client-dog teams.
Thanks to heartwarming videos contributed by our grads, we were able to share the stories of their journeys toward greater independence, happiness, and hope. Our Summer 2020 graduates included seven veterans, one young man with autism, and one social worker who graduated with an FSD-trained professional therapy dog.
We hope you’ll enjoy reading about all of our remarkable graduates, and you can watch the virtual graduation ceremony anytime here.
Ben & Lapis
Ben is a U.S. Air Force veteran with PTSD, and Lapis was custom trained to retrieve dropped items and help Ben navigate public spaces so he can attend more of his son’s school events. This team is sponsored by Joan Ouderkirk.
Dale & Quest
Dale is a U.S. Army veteran with PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and physical limitations. Quest helps Dale by retrieving dropped items and relieving his anxiety in crowds. This team is sponsored by Gilda Kaplan.
Danny & Mentor
Danny is a six-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force who is studying to become a Licensed Professional Counselor, hoping to help fellow veterans. Mentor helps Danny navigate public places and creates space in crowds. This team is sponsored by Vets Helping Heroes.
David & Mister
David is a U.S. Army veteran with PTSD, and Mister provides assistance by retrieving his Lifeline device and other items, interrupting nightmares, and providing support in crowds.
Jackson & Windy
Jackson is an exuberant 12-year-old young man with autism, and Windy has been trained to snuggle with Jackson and help him stay calm in times of stress with a nudge of her nose. This team is sponsored by the Gary and Leslie Howard Foundation.
Joshua & Champion
Joshua is a U.S. Air Force veteran, and Champion helps ground Joshua during debilitating spells of vertigo and blackouts caused by his Meniere’s disease. This team is sponsored by Quick-Tag.
Lisa & Pasta
Lisa is a social worker who advises students at the Disability Resources & Services Center at CU Denver. Pasta has been trained as a professional therapy dog who works alongside Lisa to ease her clients’ anxiety during appointments and while taking tests or doing schoolwork. This team is sponsored by Dr. Marty Pets.
Rick & Blue Jay
Rick is a U.S. Army veteran, and Blue Jay helps alleviate Rick’s symptoms of PTSD by getting him out of the house more often and supporting him in crowds. This team is sponsored by Vets Helping Heroes.
Virginia & Rumi
Virginia is a U.S. Army veteran who experiences daily challenges of PTSD, fatigue, and pain issues limiting her mobility. Rumi assists Virginia by creating space around her in crowds, interrupting anxiety, retrieving dropped items, and tugging open drawers.
Congratulations to all our amazing Summer 2020 grads! On behalf of everyone at FSD, we are incredibly proud of you, and we can’t wait to hear about the new possibilities that open up in your lives, with your Freedom Service Dog at your side.