Service dogs offer independence, come with uniquely Jewish challenges - Special Sections

Service dogs offer independence, come with uniquely Jewish challenges

MAAYAN JAFFE-HOFFMAN | | Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2016 10:00 am

Dogs have long been known as man’s best friend. They’re snuggly, warm and generally have a good sense of what their owners want. And some dogs give more than puppy love. Service dogs are trained to help people with disabilities such as visual or hearing impairments, seizure disorders, mobility issues and diabetes.

William Snyder, a 12-year-old Jewish resident of Baltimore, suffers from seizures. His family raised $13,000 a few years back to purchase Asha from 4 Paws for Ability, a provider of service dogs; an additional $7,000 was donated to cover the cost. The Labrador retriever accompanies William to his school, sleeps with him, and even travels with the Snyder family on vacations. Before Asha joined the family, William would sleep on his parents’ bedroom floor, afraid of suffering from a seizure when no one was available to help.

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