Meet our newest graduates: September 2023

This fall, we’re celebrating the newest graduating teams joining the Freedom Service Dogs family. These hardworking clients have spent the last few weeks bonding with their new furry partners, learning important dog-handling and training skills, and practicing the specialized cues that their dogs have been taught to meet their unique needs. Read about these pawsome teams below and send them thoughts of encouragement on their journey together!

Adam & Tiki

Adam is a civil engineer and proud dog dad living with mobility challenges resulting from a hemipelvectomy amputation. Passionate about customizing vehicles, going to sporting events, and spending time at breweries, Adam traveled to FSD to meet his new best friend, Tiki. Tiki helps Adam by opening and closing doors, pressing automatic door buttons, carrying items, assisting him during grocery shopping, and retrieving his tools while he works in the garage. This team is sponsored by Dr. Marty Pets.

Kamden & Maui

Kamden is a bright and charismatic young man with autism who loves Spiderman. Maui, a gentle and affectionate golden and Labrador retriever mix, helps Kamden with handling stress in public, interrupting anxious behaviors, and providing deep pressure therapy when he needs extra support. Love at first sight, Kamden already shares an incredible bond with his best bud Maui. This team is sponsored by Dr. Marty Pets.

Wayne & Cha Cha

Wayne, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served in Vietnam, lives with PTSD and service-related injuries. A family man, Wayne is excited to grow his family by four more paws with service dog Cha Cha. Cha Cha helps Wayne by retrieving items, creating space in public, opening doors, and providing love and support to help Wayne gain more independence. Not only does she perfectly match Wayne’s mellow personality and dedication to getting the job done right, Cha Cha also charms everyone with her sweet facial expressions. This team is sponsored by Dr. Marty Pets.

Celeste & Dunkin

A U.S. Air Force veteran living with PTSD, Celeste is an avid runner who enjoys the serenity of spending time on the beach. Dunkin, her dazzling and charming service dog, assists Celeste by creating space in crowds, providing comfort, and helping her feel more confident in public. With Dunkin by her side, Celeste is bound to enjoy more freedom and relaxing days on the beach. This team is sponsored by Joan Ouderkirk.

Thomas & Chipotle

Thomas is a dedicated husband, retired engineer, and U.S. Marine Corps veteran. Service dog Chipotle assists Thomas with his symptoms of PTSD, TBI, and back injuries by retrieving objects, creating space in crowds, providing comfort during difficult situations, and helping him gain more independence.

Mary Jane & Haka

Passionate about attending the symphony and engaging with her community, Mary Jane and service dog Haka are already well on their way to becoming the most popular residents in their retirement community. Haka helps Mary Jane navigate the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease by picking up dropped items, opening doors, and helping Mary Jane pull her jackets off. Along with relishing in the company of resident therapy dog Peach, Mary Jane and Haka look forward to spending their days walking on the expansive grounds they live on and joining in activities with friends.

Kyle & Merengue

U.S. Army veteran Kyle is a loving father, husband, and dog dad who enjoys archery and spending time with his family. His sweet and devoted service dog, Merengue, helps Kyle with his symptoms of PTSD and TBI by creating space in public, retrieving items, and providing comfort in times of need. Kyle looks forward to having Merengue as part of his family and as his battle buddy by his side at his children’s events, family outings, and more. This team is sponsored by the Ken W. Davis Foundation.

Mason & Selah

Mason is a young man with autism who is passionate about video games and visiting the Nature and Science Museum. Sharing a deep connection with dogs, Mason was matched with skilled companion dog Selah to help de-escalate stressful situations, provide calming input by resting or leaning on Mason, and always offer love and unconditional friendship.

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

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