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09 February 2016

Family Update and 4 Paws for Ability

Where to begin? Since our last update, I survived a very difficult pregnancy (Hyperemesis Gravidarum, AGAIN), we welcomed our beautiful baby girl #2, and the Bear received a diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder.  I expect I will write posts about HG and SPD in the future, because both are near to my heart and widely misunderstood.  And of course, I need to finish the series on depression someday.  Hubby Bear may even guest blog again sometime.

But today I want to share with you a wonderful cause and organization called 4 Paws for Ability.  They raise and train service dogs for a variety of disabilities, and there is no minimum age requirement to be matched with a dog.  We're in the process of being matched with an Autism Service Dog for the Bear (SPD shares many symptoms with autism, although the Bear has not been officially placed on the spectrum at this time).  Other types of dogs 4 Paws for Ability trains include Diabetic Alert and Seizure Assistance Dogs, which can literally save lives.  From birth through training, it costs at least $22,000 to place a dog with a family in need.  Families don't pay for the dogs themselves, but rather commit to volunteering as fundraisers with 4 Paws for Ability to raise a minimum of $15,000.  That's where we are in the process right now, fundraising.

This is the Bear's story:
 Asher is a brilliant, energetic five year old boy with special needs.  Currently his main diagnosis is Sensory Processing Disorder, which means that his senses (not just the 5 we learn about in school, but also his sense of balance and his sense of his body in space) don't send the same signals to his brain that other people receive from their senses. Asher falls mostly into the category of sensory "seeker", which means his brain craves more sensory input the way a baby craves milk.  As such, he struggles to sit still, remain on task, and control his impulses.  At times he has been a danger to himself and others because he doesn't take the time to think through the consequences of his actions and because he doesn't experience pain in the same way other people do.  Asher likes to crash his head into things...and people.  He doesn't actually feel if you knock on his head like a door--he only knows you're doing it if he sees your arm move. One time he gave his grandmother a huge goose egg on her forehead when he head-butted her while running in for a hug, and he never felt a thing. He has trouble focusing in school or church because his brain is craving sensory input too much to concentrate on learning. He has a bad habit of running away in public when not sufficiently stimulated, and has even run into the kitchen of a sit-down restaurant.

An Autism Service Dog will be trained to help keep Asher from running away in public places, and to calm Asher when he is having a "meltdown." From birth through training, the cost of placing such a dog in a family like ours is at least $22,000.  We are committed to raising a minimum of $15,000 to help 4 Paws for Ability continue this vital work. 

I would encourage you to check out these websites and prayerfully consider if you can support 4 Paws for Ability in their mission to provide service dogs to children whose lives will be so enriched by them.  If you feel led to do so, we would be deeply grateful for a donation made in the Bear's honor or the purchase of one of our t-shirts.  And if you know a family who could be helped by receiving a service dog, please pass this information along to them.

To learn more about 4 Paws for Ability, go to

To make a donation in honor of the Bear, go to OR send a check to

4 Paws for Ability
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, Ohio 45385
 and write "in honor of Asher Doremus" on the memo line
To purchase a really cool t-shirt (which the Bear helped design), go to 

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