Service Dog for Jake
Organized by: Jamie Downs Cox
Hi, my name is Jamie Cox and I'd like to tell you about a special little boy that calls me mommy. Jake was a 24 week micro-premie that weighed in at 1 lb 2 oz. He spent the first 5 months of his life in the NICU at Cardinal Glennon Hospital in St. Louis. We received a call from DCFS saying there was a baby being discharged in 2 days that needed a foster placement and would we go to the hospital to see if we would be able to handle his medical needs. After one look at this amazing little boy we knew that he needed to be with us. After 2 days of special training our Jakie Boy came home with us. Shortly after his 3rd birthday we finalized his adoption. When Jake was 6, he was diagnoised on the Autism Spectrum, with PDD(pervasive developmental disordered), communication disorder, articulation disorder, encephalopathy with motor coordination disorder, sensory processing disorder, sleep disorder and moderate impairments in social, emotional and academic funtioning. For these reasons we started on a journey to find ways to help improve his life. One of the things that we feel will benefit all areas of Jake's life is a service dog. Jake's service dog would help in all aspects of his life. Some examples: 1) Safety: Jake's dog will be trained to alert us if he gets out of bed, which will prevent him from engaging in risky behaviors (such as using the stove). The dog will alert if Jake leaves the yard, and will be trained on his scent. The dog also will be trained to deter Jake from heading toward the large pond across the street from our house. He would help prevent Jake from bolting into the street or parking lots. Part of the dog's training includes putting himself between Jake and a stranger. These are just a few examples of how a service dog will protect Jake from the various dangers he encounters during an ordinary day. 2) Socially: Having a service dog would help encourage other children to approach Jake (because who can resist a four legged "friend")? Because Jake is uncomfortable with initiating conversations, his four-legged ambassador will help encourage acceptable social skills, and also help him develop appropriate bonds with his peers. 3) Emotional: By giving unconditional, non-judgmental love, Jake's service dog will help him work through melt-downs, listen without correcting his speech, provide a sensory outlet, and be his companion. This will give Jake a sense of being needed, and increase his confidence. As you can see, a service dog will add to Jake's quality of life, have a positive effect on his physical, social, and emotional health, and will ease some of our concerns about Jake's safety and well being. We hope to raise money to cover the cost of a service dog as soon as possible because the sooner we can secure the necessary finances, the sooner we can bring Jake's protector and buddy home! If you find it in your heart to donate, please know that it will be greatly appreciated. All funds raise will be used solely for the purpose of funding the expenses associated with obtaining Jake's service dog. If donations exceed the amount required for Jake's dog ($12,500), all excess funds will be donated to SIT Service Dogs, to support their efforts to continue helping families like ours. If you cannot offer financial support, we ask only that you share this page. Thank you and God bless!