Project Description

Angie & Shawnee

Angie was diagnosed at 2 years old with Neurofibromatosis or NF. NF causes tumors, scoliosis, difficulty with fine and gross motor skills and a long list of other problems. Life for her has been anything but normal. She has a large tumor on the right side of her abdomen, which is inoperable along with severe scoliosis leaving her in a wheelchair most of the time.

Surgeries, treatments and doctor’s appointments have been her norm. At 15 she had back surgery to stabilize her scoliosis, which resulted in a terrible infection. Treatment was 10 months of antibiotics that caused severe hearing loss in both ears. Pain, depression, let down by procedures and surgeries that didn’t help and isolation were constant part of her life. At 17 she started having seizures so the little independence she had was also gone.

But then Angie got her service dog, Shawnee, we now have peace of mind. Shawnee barks during the night to get my attention when she senses Angie’s seizures, and licks Angie’s face to keep her awake until it passes. She barks when Angie falls and stays by her side until someone gets there. Shawnee alerts Angie if someone is at the door or the phone rings and Shawnee picks up anything that Angie drops on the floor.

No words can explain how her life has changed. Her independence grows every day, the depression and isolation is improving. For the first time she is able to go shopping by herself or going out to dinner or a movie because Shawnee is right at her side. If she goes to the bathroom or to the kitchen at night Shawnee is right at her side. Recently Angie lost 2 very close friends to cancer Angie would cry and Shawnee was right there to lick away the tears. In bed or on the couch Shawnee is next to her or right at her feet Shawnee’s paw is always in Angie’s hand. Best Friends forever.