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Golden Opportunities for Independence
Service Dog Program

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Caitlin and Josie

2017 Litter Team

Josie is being trained for a special little girl named Caitlin. Caitlin is a 15-year-old from Walpole, MA, who has a diagnosis of Rett Syndrome (a neurological disease), Mitochondrial Disease and renal disease from extremely high blood pressure, deals with seizures and needs oxygen with a BiPAP ventilator at night.      Confined to a wheelchair, Caitlin is non-verbal, yet, she communicates through an eye gaze system.

Josie is being individually trained to meet Caitlin's specific needs, which will take up to two years to be a service dog for Caitlin. Josie will be trained to recognize Caitlin's seizures and will be able to alert Caitlin's family and nurses up to 20 minutes prior to impending seizures. Josie lays next to Caitlin during seizures to prevent injury and is learning to retrieve objects. Dogs are proven to lower blood pressure and has already impacted Caitlin's blood pressure tremendously, just by being a calming influence.
Aside from service duties, Josie will provide Caitlin with support, companionship, friendship, and love. Caitlin's family is excited about the joy that only puppy love can bring to a family!

Josie sleeps alongside Caitlin and comforts her throughout the night.