Every animal lover knows the joy, comfort and companionship a connection with a pet can bring, specifically a shared bond with a dog. The ParkIndy team understands the mutually beneficially friendship, and has proudly sponsored two services dogs, Parker and Max, in the Indiana Canine Assistant Network (ICAN). ICAN fully trains and places assistance dogs with Indiana children, adults and veterans to help provide independence, break barriers and overcome daily challenges.
While Max is currently in training, Parker is fully trained and has been placed with Ann, a 65-year-old crisis counselor. Ann currently deals with muscular dystrophy, which according to the CDC, is a group of diseases that cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass. Over time, muscle weakness decreases mobility, making everyday tasks difficult.
Parker will help Ann with her everyday needs, including balance assistance. Additionally, Parker will help assist Ann’s through their counseling sessions.
Here are some of Parker’s key tasks while assisting Ann:
Parker will assist her in a number of Braces – helping her get up from the floor, sitting on the sofa or chair (from both the front and side position) and provide a brace as she gets in and out of bed;
Parker will pick up any dropped items and retrieve them to Ann;
Parker will turn the lights on and off for Ann;
He will clean up his toys left on the ground to prevent possible tripping hazard;
Parker will open automatic door buttons, open and close cabinets and refrigerator;
Parker will remove clothes from the dryer and place them in the laundry basket, then tug the basket to Ann;
He will get help upon command and run to the closest person to her. When cued “find help”, Parker will locate someone to come help Ann
Ann loves to travel and attend many social activities so Parker is a very active dog!
There are many ways to get involved with ICAN, including working hands-on with the service dogs like Parker and volunteering time for outreach events or sponsoring future ICAN service dogs.
Learn more here: https://www.icandog.org/get-involved-ican/