Category Archives: From Our Friends

The Ripple Effect

Hi everyone!

Our primary purpose is to help those in need by providing them with service dogs and empowering them to live a life of fulfillment and become an integral part of society.  What inevitably happens though is a ripple effect.

Take for example Jason Owens.  Jason was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis Type II in 1996.   It is a genetic disorder that causes hundreds of tumors to grow throughout the body’s Central Nervous System.   Unfortunately, for now, there is no cure available and treatment is done on individual tumors via radiation or removal.

You can imagine that this is not an enjoyable process.  Jason has had approximately a dozen surgeries since 1996.   The most serious surgery was in 2007 when he had a golf ball size brain tumor removed.

After a year of physical therapy, he was left with weakness in his legs, loss of balance, and deaf.    Unable to perform his duties at work, he lost his job and went on long term disability.

He currently has tumors on his spine that effect his strength and dexterity in his hands.   His long term prognoses is several more surgeries ahead as the disease progresses.

One of the most unfortunately effects of Jason’s situation is that as a husband and father of two, he cannot enjoy the full mobility that others take for granted.  Fortunately, the love and support of his family has kept him strong and forward looking.  With the help of a service dog though, his life would be enriched even more.

A service dog will not only help Jason, he or she will also help Jason’s family.  A service dog will help empower Jason, helping him in many ways and enabling him to be less dependent on his family.  His family then would also be able to help Jason in other ways and be able to spend more time enjoying the life they have together.  This change will also then create a ripple effect with all those they see and know.

Here’s Jason with his family during the holidays.

Jason Owens and his family

Sometimes we are so focused on one individual that we often forget the kind of value a service dog can have on that individual’s family and friends.

Help us raise the money we need to get Jason a service dog.

Simply click on the donate button on the right or click right here to make a donation today.

We appreciate your support and we know Jason and his family does too.


Letter From Our Friend Rachel

Growing up, dogs were always in my life. I would play dress up with them, tell them all my secrets and complete with them in obedience competitions. Even at a young age, I knew that someday I would train dogs for a special purpose.

During my senior of high school, I was trying to find out how I can train service dogs. I looked into a couple of schools. Some of the schools wanted you to be a puppy raiser and the other school wanted you to have a few years of dog training skills before you apply. Here I was 19 years old…….I have only trained my dogs and I didn’t want to be a puppy raiser, I wanted to train dogs from start to finish.

After graduation, I moved to Roswell Georgia to be a nanny. It is there I found my dream job! A service dog school that was fairly new and needed volunteer trainers. While the children I cared for were at school, I would go to the school and train the dogs during the day. I found myself there at night too, training other volunteers how to train service dogs. In 1996, after my two year contract was complete, I started working as a full time trainer for this organization.

When I started at that school, there were only 12 dogs and they were house in the basement. By the time I left that school, 10 years later, they had over 150 dogs on sight and 2 buildings that housed the dogs. I will never forget the people I worked with, the dogs I got to train and all the lives that I changed with my dogs.

When I first started working full time, I wrote the founder a letter. Thanking her for this wonderful opportunity and also letting her know that it was my dream to one day to train service dogs in Indiana. In 2005, it was time. If I was ever going to start my own business, now was the time to do it. February 16, 2005, Northern Indiana Service Dogs, LLC was up and going.

Here you go Alex….why I got started training dogs….A little about me.

I also sent you a note about NISD and the Nevada badge