Project Description

Katelyn & Hoover

My name is Katelyn. Three years ago my life was forever changed when I collapsed on the bathroom floor unable to respond to my mom and being in severe pain. I spent the following months in and out of the hospital, going from doctor to doctor. I missed school at least three days out of the week. I suffer from Posticular Orthistatic Tachycardia syndrome and Gastroparesis. In layman’s terms, I don’t have enough blood to make it to my brain sometimes so it rushes to my stomach causing very painful spasms and my stomach is now paralyzed.

Before Hoover, I was afraid to leave my home. I didn’t want to have an attack in front of people and I never knew when they would occur. I barely saw my friends since I was at the hospital when they were being teenagers. I couldn’t enjoy eating out with my family and often had anxiety about even going out. I didn’t talk to my friends about my illness as I didn’t want to be different. I stopped talking and initiating conversations because it was too much effort.

That’s when my mom talked to me about getting a service dog and contacted Carol at Guardian Angels. After visiting Carol and seeing all the wonderful things these dogs were able to do, I felt myself get excited.

From day one, Hoover has been my best friend. I don’t remember this, but my mom says I talked to Hoover the entire two hour ride home. I hadn’t spoken that much in a year. In just the first 6 weeks having Hoover, he alerted me three times. He knows when I don’t feel good and will lie next to me and give me gentle kisses. He gives me unconditional love. He hangs out in the hospital room and acts like we own the place. He even laughs when we scare nurses unaware that he is in my bed. When we go out he shields me from crowds and makes me less afraid to do things with my friends. He loved seeing the latest Hunger Games movie in November with my friends. I can now be a teenager too. I don’t stress about going out to eat with my family, Hoover hangs out with me! I am slowly finding my voice because I have to look out for Hoover because he looks out for me. I know he has my back. What makes him different than just a dog that is just a pet? He works and helps me because he wants to. He is the definition of loyal even on days I can’t get out of bed to play with his favorite red ball. Although I haven’t been able to swim yet, Hoover has gotten into my pool and we are both looking forward to the day we can play in there together and I know I will be safe with him. I thank Guardian Angels for bringing Hoover into my life because he is just that. He is my “Guardian Angel”.