Ivey Needs a Service Dog – A Letter From Theresa Strader

The following letter was written by Theresa Strader, National Mill Dog Rescue’s founder.  Not only does Theresa devote a majority of her spare time to rescuing puppy mill dogs, she has also spent the last 25 years as a pediatric nurse, specializing in the field of Pediatric Oncology.
Ivey and Theresa
Hello friends of National Mill Dog Rescue,

As some of you know, in addition to my duties with NMDR, I also work my longstanding job in pediatric nursing. Several years ago, when the responsibilities of NMDR began to take over much of my time, I was forced to back away from hospital nursing and take a job in home health care. Was I ever lucky to meet the family whose three medically fragile adopted children I care for. Their selfless way of life is an inspiration to me every day.
 
In addition to my three patients, there is another very special member of this family – their granddaughter, Ivey, a beautiful 7-year-old girl who was born with Spinabifida. On my workdays, Ivey is my sidekick, my nurse’s aide, my little friend. She adores dogs every bit as much as I do and we often browse the NMDR website and talk about all the new dogs that have arrived. Ivey is such a special little girl.
 
Despite her many challenges, Ivey is so brave, always willing to try something new and give it her very best. As she grows though, her balance increasingly wavers and often she must use her wheelchair to keep from falling and possibly injuring herself.
 
Recently, Ivey’s family learned of an organization that specializes in providing service dogs for young children. Ivey’s dog would help her specifically with balance and stability but also to promote her confidence and help her to feel safe and secure. She is so incredibly excited about getting a service dog, she talks about it absolutely all the time.
 
The organization requires that Ivey’s family raise about half the amount of money ($13,000) it takes for them to raise and train the dog. Quite honestly, I struggled with whether or not I should post this in this arena as it is unrelated to our mission. However, because Ivey is so special to me and witnessing her struggle more and more as she grows has been so devastating, I decided to go ahead with this posting. I hope each of you understands.
 
If you want to learn more about helping Ivey’s family achieve this goal, please visit this website to learn more about Ivey and the 4 Paws for Ability program: www.servicedogforivey.com
 
On March 29, 2013 Fox 21 in Colorado Springs also did a short piece to encourage people locally to help as well. Here is a link to that story: http://tinyurl.com/servicedogforivey.  Ivey’s story is also on youtube:

 
I am very grateful for your taking the time to read about my little friend Ivey. I will post an update once Ivey and her service dog have been united, hopefully later this year. Thank you all so much.

Sincerely,
Theresa Strader

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