Carlene White's commitment and tenacity, along with her dedicated staff, volunteers, CP supporters and donors, continue to provide Great Dane Service Dogs - free of charge - to Service Dog Project recipients. Please continue your extraordinary and important work!!!
I’ve never been to Massachusetts. That includes Boston or Ipswich. I’ve never met Mrs. White, Janine, Wanda, my favorite Jack Russell Terrierist, Megan, Linda, Hailey, Judy, Karen or Steve, Buds, or Mark and a lot more. But I do know and I see the look of loving and caring of each little being on this Farm. We grieve for dogs who have gone to Rainbow Bridge. We don’t know them personally, of course but fall in love with each of them a little more each day.
I give a small donation every month to support this unusual place but it makes more sense than many, many organizations. They provide a vital population, who no longer work but have made many friends thru chatting. You, too, can help and be a part of something special!
I became a “Camera Person” about four and a half years ago. This was a total stroke of luck when I found them on Explore.org. I am in love with all the dogs. Both on site and those who are now working with their “person”. I’ve only seen love with all the volunteers and staff towards these special dogs. What is so admirable the young people who volunteer their time with Service Dog Project. These young people are our future and they are learning many, many valuable lessons. I’ve sent some funds to help with incidentals and hope to do more in the future. This is a very worthy charity and I recommend Service Dog Project.
Review from Guidestar
Service Dog Project is such a wonderful organisation. They help individuals with balance and mobility limitations and trains and donates Service Dogs. They change people's life in such many ways, The dogs chose the applicants and so there is a match for life. For me, Service Dog Project is the most valued organisation in America.
This is the very best orgnisation ever. They change so many lifes with the work they doe, for humans, dogs and donkeys.
Owner Carlene White and her dedicated staff train service dogs and give them FOR FREE to persons who are mobility impaired, with first preference going to Veterans and their families.
I have followed SDP through the Explore.org cameras and Carlene White’s “Daily Doggie” blog for a while. All in all an amazing project. I love Great Danes and am delighted to see them get to serve and make so many people whole again. I decided to donate, and last week I got a chance to visit SDP for the first time. It was fun to see it all, and a true delight to get to hang out with Carlene who has a refreshing wit and wisdom.
I have known this association for almost 8 years. This is the most giving and caring nonprofit organization that I have learned about. They breed, raise and train these amazing dogs to be helpful to so many people. They ask nothing in return but respect for the dogs, trainers and all who volunteer for them.Adults, children, veterans, all helped with Service Dog Project,Inc. I am amazed at what they do and from the heart and soul of a wonderful person who has turned this into the topnotch organization that it is.
Carlene White, the founder of Service Dog Project, just turned 82 I believe. Her long life and and energy are the foundations for SDP., also lovingly called "Crazy Acres". Her wacky sense of humor means there is never a dull moment while watching these cams, especially MAIL CALL . I have attached one video as proof. The first thing I do in the morning, after getting my cup of coffee, is to pull up the DOGGIE DAILY. There you learn that typing is one of the few things Carlene has not mastered and we don't really mind at all. Her insights into Great Dane and human behavior have made her what she is today -unstoppable, goal oriented, funny as can be, and much much more. The Chicken Brick club is a major source of fund-raising. If you can spare $10 a month for a brick, you could possibly become a member of "THE SHAT UPON SOCIETY". This covers her $20,000 per month payroll and other ongoing expenses. Carlene worries every month whether we will make the 20K amount. I say "we" because we all play a part in this wonderful, magical place. I am a CP (camera person) watching from afar and buying my chicken bricks online. Five yrs ago I came disabled due to medical incompetence. I could have gotten a lawyer and won for sure but I did not want to take that route. The DOGGIE DAILY gets me going in the morning and I watch off and on throughout the day. This EXPLORE site has made such a difference to so many people all over the world. You will need to go the their website to learn about CHICKEN BRICKS AND THE SHAT UPON SOCIETY. It will be the best time you have spent learning about a true NON-PROFIT organization.
I have been watching Service Dog Project since it went live in 2012 on Explore.org. This organization raises and trains Great Danes for people with mobility issues. Special consideration is always given to Veterans.
Through Explore.org you can literally watch the Great Dane puppies being born, raised and trained to become service dogs to people with mobility issues all thanks to Carlene White, the founder of Service Dog Project.
You can watch Service Dog Project 24/7 at: https://explore.org/livecams/service-dog-project/great-danes-indoor-room-puppy-cam
What a wonderful organization that raise and train Great Danes to become service dogs. Many lives have been changed because of this wonderful charity. Service Dog Project consists of a fantastic staff and many dedicated volunteers that keep the charity running smoothly. Over 45 lives have been changed because of these gentle giants, Great Danes. Thank you Carlene White and Service Dog Project for this wonderful charity.
This charity does great work. They raise amazing service dogs that aid deserving people with mobility issues.
I have been following and supporting Service Dog Project for over four years. I follow them through the Doggie Daily and their live cameras. I can not tell you how exciting it is to watch puppies being born into such a loving and knowledgeable environment. And the ultimate joy is hearing another Great Dane has been paired with an individual to assist this person with normal day-to-day activities the rest of us take for granted. The stories from the recipients are amazing and the support their Great Danes provide is truly heart warming. I will always support this organization.
What a wonderful thing they do. Helping those that can't be mobile alone and giving them the opportunity to be more mobile.
One of the best organizations out there. All funds go to the breeding and training of dogs for people with mobility issues.
i have been watching this site for 5 years. They are very careful and conscientious when its time to breed. The dogs health comes first of anything. Carlene and her volunteers shed alot of joy to many individuals who could use a little assistance.
I volunteered with SDP in 2015 and loved it! The founder, Carlene, states it best- It is a working farm and you will WORK. Carlene may be considered "gruff" in personality; however, she knows what she is talking about. With age comes experience, with experience comes knowledge. She has opened her home to strangers all to help those in need. Her first priority are the dogs. Whether it is poo picking, feeding, training, fencing, or birthing, EVERYTHING is for the welfare of the dogs. I loved taking my vacation and working on her working farm. Hope to be back soon.
Service Dog Project makes my heart smile. This organization is truly what giving and helping others is all about. From young children who would otherwise be in wheelchairs, adults, who can now be independent and our fabulous Veteran's and at a cost of $0. This little piece of heaven is run on donations and mostly volunteers. Carlene White had a vision and has stuck with it being successful all these years. I'm sure there have been times when anyone else would have said "I quit" but I don't think quit is in her vocabulary. If you aren't aware of the Service Dog Project, just watch a few days and you too will fall in love with this organization and its mission!'mm
I love this site as they not only provide service dogs to help people, they have a donkey rescue too. They help both people and donkeys! What a wonderful group of people they are.
The Service Dog Project trains and donates service dogs to individuals with balance and mobility limitations (possibly due to Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, CP, etc.). By providing the dogs at no cost to approved applicants, The Service Dog Project extends a valuable service to suitable individuals. Preference is given to veterans and their families.
All of the Great Danes are born, raised and trained on the farm and for the first month are watched 24/7 by staff and/or volunteers. Once the dogs are fully trained (usually a year or older) they are matched with a recipient and are then trained to meet the individual’s exact needs.
Again this is a great organization that deserves high praise.
My name is Stacy and Meet Pixie my Shining Star and hear our story.
I call SDP Disney then again better then Disney why is this?
Well here's our story.
I feel ill 4 years ago was diagnosed 3 years ago to the day today with MS short for multiple sclerosis. I woke up sick on Jan 24th 2014 and couldn't talk then I progressed rapidly no Dr. Could figure out what was wrong with me it took a year time till the day when I finally got the call.
Scary right? Well it was a long road from there on out.
I eventually lost my left leg use and walked with the help of my family my children, fiancé, parents. For months at home how did I get around? I got on my bottom and scooothed yup on the floor to make it easier for them all at home.why, you ask? Cause I refused the cane, walker and my house wasn't suitable for a wheelchair nor would I use one. I wasn't mentally ready. People stared at at me when out in public "omg look at her walk" yes people really made these statements as I held on to things so I didn't fall. Remember I have no feeling in my left leg anymore. So let's fast forward to shorten up a really long story.
I heard about SDP I was like wow this I can do. Look kids I can have have a loving pup help me. I never thought I would have my life change the way it did. I sent in an application I went for a visit and right there I was accepted. I cried all the way home. A long 3/4 hour drive home of pure joy and excitement!
I met my sweet hero when I went back for training on the sat after Thanksgiving of 2016 Nov 26. We set eyes on each other I didn't pick her she sure knew I was meant to be with her and her to be with me.
I have not fallen, Pixie has taught me how to walk again and changed me and my confidence to all my life's challenges. She never leaves my side. We are one! A team! She has picked me up off the floor helped me walked stairs, jumped in the shower (tmi,lol) to help me, walked me when I was tired, slept with me in the hospital beds, guided me through busy crowds to keep me safe and out of the way of tripping over my two feet. She is my hero. I can go on and on. She saved me in so many ways and helps me everyday with such Pride and joy!
I could not be where I am today if it wasn't for the most kind hearted act of Carlene and all the hard work that her amazing staff do each day. I'm forever grateful for my gift all cause such an amazing place!
I have been a CP since Walter was a wee pup. This site gives me so much information & education. But more than that I get joy from watching ALL the animals on each camera.
Thank you so much to Explore & every one at Crazy Acres for making my day great.
I have been following SDP through the Explore.org cameras, Facebook and Carlene White’s “Daily Doggie” blog since the first day they started with the cameras. I am astounded by the tremendous work SDP does with their Danes, training them to help people of all ages with their mobility and our beloved Veterans with PTSD, etc.
The stories from the recipients are nothing short of amazing. Lives have been changed immeasurably. Children who can now attend school (minus a wheel chair), shop at malls with their friends (minus their parents), just the FREEDOM these dogs provide. Adults who cry with joy that they can walk across the street that has curbs, attend the theater, walk through the grass. Small things we take for granted that these people were robbed of, they now can do. Veterans who would not leave their house, or in wheel chairs, felt like everyone was watching them…the Danes takes the focus away from the Veteran and makes them feel secure.
These dogs are DONATED, they cost around $20,000 per dog to raise and train. Hundreds, maybe thousands of people like myself donate so that these recipients can live a happier life. Recipients are not arbitrarily matched. The dogs pick their "person". Cannot say enough good/great things about this charity. They are Priceless.
I have learned so much from just being able to view the upbringing of these beautifully trained Great Danes. From spoon feeding to get the animal to recognize and become aware with each bite who they are. To being placed with the correct person. Carlene White is such a wonderful person and knows much about many things. We are blessed to have this ability to view not only the Danes but the birds and the donkeys. They are all loved and cared for extremely well. I have been watching them on cam since 2012 and have never seen anything bad or inappropriate happen to any animal. I am proud of Carlene and wish I could make such a difference in so many peoples lives. Much respect SDP
Have followed this organization for over a year- hours and efforts put in are EXCEEDINGLY over what ANYONE would put in- all young and old pitch in to help Carlene, along with the various companies who supply her with items for those gorgeous dogs--she has bred, raised and distributed them to so many who are in need of them- there ARE PARAMETERS that must be met to obtain a dog--those who feel THEY need one may no t be the same as what the standards are BUT that is the issue. Those people sacrifice time, effort and money for those animals so when people write such negative remarks it saddens and sickens so many of her followers. I have never met this woman but pray daily for ST. FRANCIS to guard and protect her and the animals. All who follow should place their opinion in the proper prospective- no one should be judging her or the work she does but they do. Yes, we are all entitled to our own opinions but SERIOUSLY????? THINK BEFORE YOU WRITE- God Bless COLLEEN and her Staff and her effort.
I've read a lot of the reviews and I must say some of the negatives boggled my mind. Number one , everywhere on the website and any place else you look it will tell you veterans get priority!!! Number two some of these folks have multiple illnesses to which it tells you everywhere you read about this organization, they are for MOBILITY assistance only. they don't open doors, tell you when to walk at a crosswalk etc. We all would like a beautiful, well trained animal but we have to be unselfish and let the ones who need them for their quality of life to which they have been trained for receive them. As for Carlene she is a sassy wonderful lady who has her focus on helping others and has no time to dwell on people who want to take her off course. I would love to have one of her dogs but I don't fall into the weight of the person per dog requirement but I'm not going to bad mouth her for having these requirements since I know its the dog she's thinking of. These are her babies that she so generously shares.
Review from Guidestar
Service Dog Project provides a life changing experience for those who receive a great dane service dog. I believe strongly in what SDP does and regularly donate to this charity.
These people are totally dedicated to improving the lives of both adults and children who have mobility issues. Danes are much better suited to this function, particularly with adults simply because of their size and trying to assist a 180# man who just lost his balance. These dogs start training the day they're born. It's unfortunate but I don't know any other breed of dog who is better suited to this challenge and is so trainable for the job as a Great Dane. Carlene and her staff do a superb job at fulfilling the planning of new litters to accommodate the needs of clients as well as the training necessary from the very start of their lives to fulfill the commitment to provide fully trained service dogs toward their goal while following all the guidelines and rules set for them to accomplish this.
Inspiring and disruptive support with Great Danes - seeing is believing
I've been viewing this organization for 2 years now on explore.com. Their intent is to match stout Great Danes with a recipient that not only is in need of vertical mobility assistance, but also can provide emotional assistance as well. The dogs are cared for 24/7, and allowed to be dogs on an open air farm on their off hours after training. These dogs are the sweetest, happiest and caring dogs that you could ever meet When they get to work, they know exactly how to behave around their partner that has been meticulously matched to them. Carlene, the women who started SDP is a gem. She is very wise to the world and to the world of dog behavior. She will make sure that a dog is matched to a recipient, but the recipient must also understand the purpose of the great gift that Carlene and her crew provide. They have spent a lot of money and labor preparing these dogs during the months and years it takes to train these dogs for the skilled job ahead.
I have a lot of respect for Carlene White and SDP. They are the most caring and compassionate people I have ever seen. They work tirelessly to breed the best service dogs available to all disabled people that meet their criteria. Who could ask for more!! Cudos to all the staff and volunteers who do such an awesome job!
There are no words to express just how Wonderful Service Dog Project is!!
You will have to search a Very Long time before you find a better group of people. All of the Staff, Volunteers, and Camera People are the most down to earth, dedicated, and loyal people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.
The amazing and caring work they do with these Service Dogs, and Perfect Pets, is beyond reproach. To watch, (as they forget that there are cameras everywhere), the love and devotion to every living being on the farm....is heartwarming.
Supporting our Military Veterans, their family members, children, and others in need should bring a tear to every eye watching, and or taking part in this Project. No matter how big or small. I myself, am extremely proud to be a part of SDP!
If you want to take a break from all the negative going on in the world, and see what Authentic Kindness, and Selflessness looks like....go to Servicedogproject.org, and see it Live! Be prepared though... you will become addicted!
Service dogs from Service Dog Project make dramatic changes in the lives of every recipient. Every story I have ever read of the way the lives of recipients of service dogs from Service Dog Project are changed is inspirational and heartwarming. As a teacher of young children I am incredibly touched by the strength of the loving and trusting bonds that develop between the great danes and children facing massive mobility and health challenges in their lives. I love that the matching process involves allowing potential recipients and service dogs to meet and for dogs to be able to in effect 'choose' their person, and once a pairing is identified, that training for the specific needs of the recipient get underway. I am in awe of the commitment and caring of all staff and volunteers involved with Service Dog Project. I watch SDP from afar (New Zealand) via the live webcams that allow us to see the realities of everyday life unfolding there 24/7.
Service Dog Project, Inc sets the bar for other non-profits to measure themselves. What other organizations offer such transparency? None. The general public is granted 24/7 audio and video access to the various daily goings on at Service Dog Project via a number of webcams on explore.org. Through those cameras one can see exactly where and how their donations are used. Service Dog Project takes on the entire cost of breeding, raising and training Great Danes to be mobility service dogs. Those dogs are then donated, free of charge, to recipients; with preference given to our amazing Veterans and family members of Veterans. The owner, staff and the army of volunteers are all amazing people. The Service Dog Project as a non-profit is second to none.
I have been following Service Dog Project since the Annenberg Foundation's Explore.org cameras went live on the property more than five years ago. I have never been so impressed with an organization. Founder Carlene White trains and totally donates her Great Danes as service dogs to those with mobility issues such as MS and Parkinson's disease, to veterans with PTSD and other debilitating problems, and to children whose diseases make their mobility otherwise impossible. All training is done by skilled trainers at SDP, and begins practically at birth with name recognition, recall, "wait" training, and exposure to any type of situation that future recipients will encounter. All dogs are potential service dogs, and every conceivable effort is made for them to be successful. However, occasionally a dog will have a gait or some other reason they will not be able to help with balance issues, and these are given to loyal volunteers or staff members to become Perfect Pets.
Potential recipients are encouraged to volunteer at SDP. Recipients are required to be the total caregivers of their dogs, so remaining as active as possible is one of the criteria for placement. Being at SDP allows potential recipients to bond with their canine partners, important because it is the dog that ultimately picks their person.
To realize just how life-changing these partnerships are, one only has to read the blog entries, SDP chat, etc. Things we take for granted, such as being able to get out because now a recipient can step up on a curb, allows mobility previously impossible. Some recipients are now in medical and law schools. Others go out doing public speaking and have become active advocates. Testimonials are heartfelt and heartwarming.
SDP is supported by an army of camera people, volunteers, and staff. Purina has so generously been donating most of the dog's food, and there have been some very generous grants awarded. Carlene White takes no salary, and all of her dogs are totally donated to recipients. I am so proud to be a supporter of this amazing organization.
Review from Guidestar
I've been a CP member since 2015, I just stumbled on their website and have been watching it since. It's wonderful to see all the love each and every dog receives there and how well they're taken care of down to the horses, donkey's and hens. All animals !
Carlene White runs the farm like a well greased machine . The staff and volunteers are great people and work very hard to train these beautiful Danes to become Service Dogs which are given to people with mobility problems and veterans.
I was lucky and was able to visit the SDP aka Crazy Acres last year and it was one of the best experiences of my life!
This project is profoundly life-altering for those individuals who "qualify." The founder of SDP, the paid staff, the volunteers & the CP's are completely dedicated to this mission. It's obvious that all of these people's passion for what they do to give the "qualified" recipient a new lease on life is totally sincere. There are many projects for service animals, but this project is unique. I would suggest anyone who questions the reputability, the fairness with regard to distribution of the service dog(s) and especially the dedicated, countless years of experience breeding and training skills the founder of SDP possesses make an appt. to visit the farm and get educated!
Carlene, the owner, has requested that her loyal supporters post positive comments on this site, thus all the 2/9/2018 posts. As an Explore.com watcher of many sites, I can say this... The dogs are wonderful at SDP and the intent is wonderful. A great staff and some fabulous volunteers. However, the owner is crude, rude and unprofessional (and I am being kind). I think she means well though...but giving her the benefit of doubt. As far as her "fan club" that has done all of these posts today? Well, not very impressed by them. They constantly belittle new viewers. However, that is not why I am only giving one star. I would like to see the 80 year owner who is cranky and forgetful to step down. It is time.
Review from Guidestar
As a healthcare professional who has worked in rehabilitation I'm well aware that persons with significant mobility and balance issues cannot be treated and managed with a "one-size fits all" plan. Each requires highly customized treatments, assistive devices and adaptations specific to the individual and their particular needs. In that regard, to expect that a Great Dane service dog will be the answer to the difficulties of every such person is unrealistic. Ms. White, of the Service Dog Project, recognizes those situations for which her Service Dogs have the best potential for bringing successful assistance to someone who is mobility/balance impaired. She also identifies those persons who will likely not benefit. The Service Dog has an important, big job to do. Ms. White and the trainers respect that, and strive for a successful, MUTUALLY happy and life-changing pairing of the person and their dog. There are many factors she weighs with her trainers when they review the needs of an applicant. Sometimes the answer is, unfortunately, that they simply cannot be of assistance. No doubt it's disappointing. However, the success stories of the persons who have benefited from the carefully trained, individually matched Great Danes from the Service Dog Project, and Ms. White's care in placing her dogs appropriately, demonstrates many times over that she understands fully the capabilities of the Danes she raises and trains. She and her staff do great work for the mobility and balance impaired persons they serve.
I have been following and contributing to the Service Dog Project for the last 2 or 3 years. The level of dedicated staff, paid and volunteers exceeds any other charity that I have ever seen. The dogs that are donated to their recipients are truly a life saver for all. Carlene White deserves to be honored for her dedication to not only the dogs but to the recipients. It should be noted that she also rescues donkeys and horses. I wish I had unlimited funds to donate to this outstanding organization because I can’t think of another more deserving than SDP.
For the past five years, I've been watching the live camera feeds and donating to Service Dog Project. I couldn't be more impressed with the caliber of the dogs donated (not sold!) to people with balance issues and other conditions that threaten their mobility. I've watched soldiers with physical or vestibular injuries regain the confidence needed to return to productive civilian lives, and children with cerebral palsy and Morquio syndrome move from the sidelines to the playing fields with the help of their service Danes. It's a remarkable organization, as worthy of support as any I've encountered in my lifetime.
Review from Guidestar
I am so impressed with what I see in the life of the Great Dane Service Dog, from birth to assignment. all though the efforts of Explore. The dogs are special and a great benefit to so many. Thousands ,like me, watch and support CraZy Acres farm, in the wonderful service they are providing. They must be doing something right! Actually a LOT of something right. Pat
This place is like heaven for service dog training. The trainers and staff are like big sisters and brothers to these dogs. They are trained everyday from starting when they are little with spoon feeding and focus. They have a puppy hill that the pups play on, little do they know they are building there muscles thru fun. I could say so much more great things but I would run out of space. But one last thought, one nite, I watched a volunteer lay on the floor all nite long with a pup that was scared until morning, when by then he was the bravest one in the bunch. That's what this place is about.
Review from Guidestar
I have been supporting Service Dog Project since 2012. Never in a million years did I think that someone I knew would be impacted from the generous donation of a service dog. A dear friend was diagnosed with MS and she submitted an application to SDP unbeknownst to me. We traveled from Tennessee to SDP in Massachusetts in April, 2017 so that she could interview with them. We spent 2 days on site as volunteers while she went through the applicant process. We were impressed with the dedication of staff and the outstanding care and training that these future service dogs receive. In August, 2017, my friend received her new "best friend" and her life has made a 180 degree turn around! She is no longer afraid to leave her home for fear of falling as her mobility is secure with her service dog. She gives back to our community by volunteering to to other people in the community through the Meals on Wheel program. She would never have had the courage to do this without her service dog from SDP. I will never be able to thank SDP enough for giving my friend her "normal person" life back!
Review from Guidestar
I have watched SDP for over a year now and I am overwhelmed at the love and work that goes into preparing these wonderful dogs for a life of service. As a Marine brat, I am happy that Veterans are given priority in receiving a dog but that does not restrict anyone else from qualifying. There are several children with dogs who are thriving. There are college students who share their stories with us routinely. The owner and her staff are hard working, generous people. If I didn't live on the opposite coast I would be there volunteering along with many other regulars who give of selflessly of their free time. I can't praise this charity enough! God Bless them!
I have been a camera person since 2014. I seen a Great Dane Mama have puppies and was hooked right away. These dogs are matched up with people that have Mobility problems.
Needless to say every recipient is not always a match. SDP does the best they can with matching dogs to people. I have seen and watched these dogs grow from birth till they are matched with a recipient. I have had great danes almost all my life. I know alot about these dogs and this is one great organization. These dogs, donkeys, guinea hens get so much love with trainers, volunteers and camera people. The recipient that are matched with dogs do not have to pay for them. They are given these great dane dogs. Carlene White, owner and founder has one great program going here. I follow this organization on a daily basis thru Explore.org. These great danes are changing people's lives and they are run on strictly donations and grants. Anyone at all can watch the 7 camera's all day long. They have a fantastic mail call at 5:00PM Eastern Mon thru Sat.
I have made many friends here and others thru the years who own Great Danes. I have a harlequin female and also have a deaf great dane. Both of my Great Danes were purchased thru a Great Dane Breeder. I trained my deaf dane to learn sign language. I can not say enough about this organization and the program that Carlene runs here. Her dogs are so well behaved and they want to do there jobs as a service dog. It is amazing but Carlene's dogs
get very excited to know that they have been matched up with a recipient.
I have had the great privilege to not only support, but to volunteer at, The Service Dog Project. I got to see, first-hand, the dedication of Carlene White, all her staff, and all the volunteers, strive toward Carlene's mission - to raise, AND DONATE, WONDERFUL Great Danes in the hopes that, one day, they will be able to be the 4-legged partner for someone who may suffer from any number of mobility issues, as well as those who suffer from PTSD, so that these recipients will be able to, maybe for the first time in their lives, or once again, have a sense of 'NORMALCY' in their lives.
It is BREATHTAKING to see these "Teams" of recipients and their SDP Danes! To see the joy; the laughter; the independence these dogs provide makes me so proud to be just a small part of it.
I don't have a "review" so to speak, but I can share a story.
It's part of a post I wrote on my blog where we talk about life with a disability.
The blog can be found here:
How a service dog is changing my life
I’ve been asked to write about how a service dog changed my life. On the surface this seems like there should be a simple and quick answer; it’s not for me. I’ve been considering this for several days. I think it may be a more accurate to ask how my life changed to allow a service dog into my life. From this I hope to find the answer to the question.
First, let’s answer the question; what qualifies me to have a service dog in my life at all? The short answer is Cerebral Palsy. For those that need a quick definition, Cerebral Palsy (CP) is an umbrella term for a group of non-progressive, non-contagious motor conditions that cause physical disability in human development; it is a group of disorders that can involve brain and nervous system functions, such as movement, learning, hearing, seeing, and thinking. There are several different types of cerebral palsy, including spastic, which is where my physical existence falls in the spectrum.
I was born with CP. I was not born with a service dog. I have found, oddly, that these statements need to be made. I have now come across more than one person in my daily interactions that have seen me both with and without a dog. These people seem shocked that I’d have a dog, but maybe they were shocked that I had a cane and did a better job of keeping fascination and comments to themselves? I haven’t been so bold as to ask. I don’t really need to know in order to move forward.
It seems fair to give you a glimpse back at my life before a service dog; back to what conditions molded me as a person. I was lucky enough to be born to very strong parents. An important point is that my father has a medical background. He is a retired career firefighter/paramedic /EMT who also served our country in the military. My mother grew up, and worked, the family farm. How does that shape me? It gave me parents who are not afraid of hard work and long hours. I’d say my childhood could be defined as tough, unconditional love. This was hard to see at the time but now I know it is a defining quality. I don’t take no for an answer because neither did they. When doctors have to tell you that your child will not walk, could be affected mentally, and motor skill deficient there are several ways this news could be processed. My parents’ response was to acknowledge this and move forward with the fact that I could also not be all those things. If I was, fine. If they needed to put in the work to see a different result then that was the only path forward for them and for me. This meant for my father, countless hours of overtime, multiple concurrent jobs and tireless work to pay medical bills. For my mother it meant she stayed home with my sister and me to make sure I made it to therapy appointments among countless other daily jobs, not the least of which was when she took the roll of therapist herself. I grew up with the knowledge that I did not have a disability, at least not one that excused or excluded me from anything. I simply had to find a different way to accomplish goals. Life gives you challenges, not impossibilities. This all made me stubbornly independent.
As an adult I became accustomed to easing people’s concerns over my disability. One of my favorite comments to the uninitiated in my world is, “I’m going to trip and fall. I’ll be fine, just give it awhile and you won’t notice the disability.” I have had more than a few people tell me that they forget I have anything wrong with me. I assume they mean other than my stupid sense of humor. This ‘Nothing stops me!’ attitude does backfire from time to time, particularly when I could use help carrying beverages and would like it to stay in the glass rather than on the floor and I do not feel like making several trips to complete the task of pouring a glass of milk.
So with all this, how did I come to the idea that a service dog could be in my life? The answer is; I didn’t. The love of my life did. She did when I told her that the only way I would have a dog was if he was service trained. This was another of my attempts to not have another pet, just yet. This was before I knew there were service dogs that could help with balance and stability, recovery from a fall, and other tasks. We were accustomed to sight or seizure dogs but not stability. So we found Service Dog Project, visited and quickly fell in love with the organization. I still hadn’t admitted to myself that I was a candidate, even when they asked me if I was an applicant. I’m persistent, so it took me a long time to even acknowledge what was happening. For several weeks we visited, volunteered and showed up as much as possible. During this time everyone, with varying degrees of patience waited for me to come around. My personal trainer, who wrote a letter of recommendation made the point that I won’t accept help from a human, but I’d never deny a dog. That is quite an accurate statement. I didn’t even fill out the paperwork on my own; it was handed to me completed except for information that required my effort. Once my paperwork was submitted the process moved along rather quickly because I was already forming a bond with my service partner, Casper, through volunteering and socialization. It turned out that the dog needed a job and he picked me, and my family. This was noted by the organization and the match gelled better than I could have imagined.
My life has changed in many ways. I stopped using my cane the day I drove home with a Great Dane in the back of an extended cab Ford Ranger. The cane is now reserved for times when he is given freedom to run.
Review from Guidestar
It started with watching via all their cameras how the people who worked there, volunteered on a regular basis, visit on weekends, Sunday Stew, purchase bricks in a fun little event that pretty much covers the salary of the employed people there -- hard to know who are employed and who are volunteers! The incredible attention and love expressed to every single one of those dogs is awesome. There have been many times when I watched a person love and pet and just sit with a dog who truly brought tears of joy to my eyes. No doubt these people love their work and most of all love those dogs. Raising and training these beautiful animals is a passion and an experience I have witnessed for a few years now. I am so happy to send a few checks throughout the year or buy an item mentioned they may need and have it shipped to them. These dogs are raised and trained perfectly with love and those dogs eventually move to 'their person' and they know it is 'their person' and the bond is beautiful. I would encourage anyone to tune in, 24 hr a day, cameras are on, and just observe -- you too will fall in love. Thanks to Carlene White and all her "friends" who watch over those dogs and they all take care of each other as well! It's exceptional!
Review from Guidestar
I have been a cp of service dog project for over 4 yrs now and was even a watcher before I signed in for chat. I have never ever seen an animal abused in all those yrs .they also check the back history of were the dogs are going and will NOT ever plaCE THEM IN SOMEWERE, where they think the animal will be mistreated. They bred for a specific type of medical problem which is balance. if they feel a dog is not compatable to be one then they place the animal as a perfect pet with the same pre placement check of were they are going. This is a fantastic place to bring along a puppy for service. but most of all. They do not charge for the animals. they remain a service dog project dog till they have been oked to be a owner, but they also are followed up with info as to how the dog is doing. They do not just negate their support when animal is placed they are always keeping up and ready to help in any way. This is a wondeful place and I recommend it very highly.
I discovered SDP when their explore.org cameras went live in the fall of 2012. I watched as a mom had her pups and was instantly addicted. There aren't enough words to explain how incredible, amazing, life-changing....this organization is. Carlene White, founder and owner, uses her decades of experience with all kinds of animals to produce service dogs that are unmatched. They are raised with care and love and trained from infancy to be mobility assistance partners for lucky recipients. I flew there from California in the summer of 2016 and volunteered for a week, doing everything from poo picking, kennel cleaning, laundry, cooking, puppy sitting and anything else that was needed. I've never been so tired in my life but it was a wonderful, fulfilling tired. SDP is a magical place and I will go back again this fall.
I have been a supporter of this non profit for 4 years. Their ability to raise train and DONATE great danes for mobility to the recipients is not only generous but life changing. Through Explore Cams we watch these danes from birth to partnership as they change lives and give people back some of what they have lost through struggles with mobility. The matches are made very carefully, to ensure that a bonding between dog and partner takes place in order to assure the very best match possible. One of their highlights has been the Match between George and Bella. George has won recognition as Service Dog Of the Year in the last few years. When I make my monthly donations to Service Dog Project I know that the money goes to where it is intended and not to expensive offices, expense accounts, designer clothes, or outrageous salaries.
Review from Guidestar
Service Dog Project on so many levels makes the world a better place. On the grandest level they provide a dependable, loyal, exceptionally trained partner for those who have mobility issues. Sadly, not all who apply are a right match for the abilities of their wonderful Great Dane; they know what works and what doesn't and they determine accordingly. What is more miraculous they do not charge the recipients for these precious gifts.
On the other end of the scale, by allowing cameras 24/7, they enrich the lives of those who tune in to watch these amazing dogs come into the world and go through different stages of development until they are ready to be matched. Their dogs are positively trained, know nothing but love, and become dogs who are happy to work. For me I feel blessed that I can be involved, even if only to watch and buy the occasional chicken brick to help with their funding. Thank you to everyone at SDP!
Outstanding non-profit organization, bar non!!! The Service Dog Project (SDP) specializes in the training of Great Danes to be Service Dogs for the mobility impaired. Recipients of these Service Dogs are not charged any money for them; they are given the dog for free. The dogs receive the best in loving care and attention from SDP staff around the clock. Carlene White (Owner) and staff do an outstanding job of providing these dogs the very best of everything, which is why SDP and its mission of turning out the very best Service Dogs is so consistently successful. You can watch the SDP in operation, live, 24/7/365 around the clock if you go to the explore.org website, click on 'DOGS", then click on the "SERVICE DOG PROJECT". If you want to show your support for SDP, once you are on their website, click on "CHICKEN BRICKS". SDP heavily counts on supporters to buy CHICKEN BRICKS at $10 apiece as a means of helping SDP meet its monthly operating expenses. SDP truly appreciates any and all support received. ; )
One need only Google Bella & George, or Eve & Finn, or Hunter & Wendy (and so many more), to learn of the most heartwarming matches this organization creates, but it goes so much further than that. So many people whose lives are returned to some semblance of 'normal' due to their undying dedication to helping those with mobility issues. Imagine if you will, waking one day to the realization that simply rising from the bed to get to the bathroom has become a monumental task, never mind venturing out into the world outside your door! Now imagine a group of individuals who are dedicated to helping you regain your freedom, and at no cost to you! Think of all those families who get their Mother/Father/child back as a participating member of their lives. Not only do they assist the people whose lives they touch directly and their loved ones, but the lives of all who come in contact with them and their goal. They manage to survive on the donations of the community that has evolved around them. Even Purina has joined the community, by donating their food on a monthly basis. There is an entire community of loving and supportive individuals, worldwide, that gather daily at Explore (https://explore.org/livecams/service-dog-project/great-danes-indoor-room-puppy-cam) to not only watch these pups mature and learn their trade, but to support each other in their daily trials thru common bonds. Please join us each day (Mon-Sat) at 5 PM EST to watch Mail Call and enjoy the community environment.
SDP is probably the most wonderful nonprofit that I have encountered. The dogs they raised and place make a huge difference in the lives of the recipient. Many of the recipients send in updates with pictures so we can follow their journey. Of course, as with everything, there are only a limited number of dogs so not everyone can be paired. I think one of the best parts of this nonnprofit is they let the dog pick their partner. Potential recipients need to spend time at the farm and wait for a dog to pick them - wonderful matches. Just check out facebook page of Bella and George, or Eve and Finn. Warms my heart what they do and I donate every month
I watch SDP on Explore.org! I was so impressed by their charitable efforts, training/breeding methods, the equine rescue, ALL the people who work there, etc. that I tell everyone I speak with to watch. It is the only site I have stuck with. I've even bought the book Carlene's daughter wrote to get more insight into this marvelous place. Carlene White has one thing I especially admire... common sense!!! She's also funny as all get out. I plan to continue to watch, admire & when possible, financially support SDP!
I have been a contributor/patron for the last four years. Have participated online with their fund raising (chicken bricks). Have watched through Explore.org their 7 cameras all over Crazy Acres. Have received the Daily Doggie (daily email) as long.I have found Carlene White as well as her staff volunteers to be forthright, honest,& very educational.. I have not visited (though I would like to) but from my perspective they are real people doing a fabulous job giving a real service. I have gained much in knowledge around all that they do training service dogs for the mobility impaired. You see the pups being born and all their training until that moment when the dog is with their person. And even after you hear how the dogs continue to give these people their lives back. Well worth every moment and dollar I have contributed.
I have been a loyal suporter and CP [ camera watcher person] for the last 5 years to SDP-Service Dog Project. It has become the only charity I now support with the little I have. They help change the lives of people, children and especially our wounded Veterans with mobility challenges. They DONATE their great danes for FREE!! Where other charities charge thousands of dollars to those in need because it is very costly to raise and train a Service Dog. Some charities have an exorbitant overhead and CEOs and staff with outrageous salaries. Most of your money is going to pay them with little trickling down to the organization and actual training. This is NOT the case with SDP. [ all 501c3 charities financials are of public record] They survive on private donations and grants from a few corporations that go to a small very hard working, caring paid staff with an army of wonderful, caring, hardworking, loyal volunteers from all over locally and around the country who actually use their vacation time and other free time from their life and from their jobs to go help in anyway they can on the farm.
SDP is a part of Explore.org who have exciting and educational live cams around the world. You can watch six live cams 24/7 on the SDP farm of the great dane puppies [ also rescued donkeys, chickens and guinea hens] being born raised and trained there following their progress from birth to pups to grown Service Danes and matched with their new partners. The new pair's journey is often journaled on Facebook or the Explore chat under one of SDP's live cams, if they choose do so and many do. It is the most gratifying experience I have ever witnessed or been a part of and followed. Wonderful exciting tears of joy and pride and some tears of sadness seeing one of your favorite Danes, you watched from birth, leave to go off and change someone's life for the better.
I have learned so many things watching the goings on through the live cams, watching mail call and trainer talk live daily at approx. 4:50PM EST, reading the daily doggie that Founder Carlene White writes every morning and also once personally visiting the farm. Carlene [and staff ] runs a tight ship with honesty, integrity, transparency, love, humor, sweat and tears. Carlene, in my humble opinion, has the utmost greatest instincts in animal and human behavior and or character I have ever seen or been witness to. Her animal experience spans her entire life. From training and providing animals for movies and commercials to Service Dogs. The organization as you can imagine are overwhelmed with applicants wanting one of her Service Danes. Carlene, Staff and Board of Directors have to be very discerning and critical in who they approve to give one of their Danes to. I have learned of just some of their criteria. Not all by any means...
1. First and foremost is the welfare of the Service Dog.
2. The applicant's disability and if their Service Dogs can actually help that person.
3. Can the applicant actually take care of the Dog's needs. ie Exercise, feeding and the normal vet bills associated with having any pet or Service Dog and for how long etc.
3. The age of the applcant weight and height compared to the Service Dogs weight and height.
4. Can the applicant travel to SDP for training and re-certifications.
These are only a FEW of the common sense things Carlene and staff have to take into consideration and much more!! I'm sure it isn't and easy process for them and I'm sure it is difficult for the applicants that for one reason or another they can not help either. If it were easy then everyone would be doing it so the saying goes. There is just not enough Danes to go around to all who need help and Carlene has also been willing to help others who are interested in starting their own Great Dane Service Dog organization for the mobility challenged. Her training methods are unique and she puts out extraordinary well trained Service Danes. Look up Team Bella and George who was the AKC Service Dog of the year award a couple years ago. Their story is amazing and very moving along with so many other amazing stories.
There have been times when a recipient with a Service Dog for one reason or another maybe from health changes or can no longer either take care of their dog or maybe the person has passed away and Carlene accepts the Service Dane back IF need be. That Dane either gets re-trained for another partner IF possible OR gets to live out his or her life with a wonderful loving family. The Danes are followed through their lifetime to be sure all is going well for both them and their partners. Staff trainers are always there for them if any problems might arise for counseling advise or extra training with their dog if the need arises for various reasons. They are never given and then forgotten. Very often recipients and their Danes make return trips to the farm to just visit and enjoy the farm and the Danes LOVE to come back to visit their trainers, Staff and Vols. that took such great care of them and to just run and play with the other Danes or their siblings that might still be there. These are very happy working dogs!!
In my opinion Carlene's breeding practices are impeccable. She brings in bloodlines from other countries also to add to her own. She does NOT purposely breed any dane knowing to get a disability BUT if that occurs [ always a certain percentage with all breeders] such as a deaf dog they are homed with Volunteers and known families who give them a wonderful, happy quality of life. We get to follow their lives also from the cams, pics and stories are posted on Explore.org chat under SDP's live cams. It is also a wonderful community of caring members on the chat who also become like family to many.
Service Dog Project is a wonderful organization with one goal in mind. To help others with mobility challenges when they are able to. and to help for FREE as the dogs are DONATED to a recipient. Carlene does HOPE that this awesome life changing donation to a person might pay it forward by doing some kind of volunteer or charity work of their own choosing. Something, anything, they are able or capable of doing. Seems reasonable to me.
There is so much negativity in the world and watching SDP is my respite from that. None of us are perfect humans and Carlene can be a bit "salty" in how she says things. LOL but she never gives up or gives in to the negativity that might be thrown at her ie. the negative posts here by unhappy negative people. Or someone they just could not help and has become a sad negative person because of it. I hope for them to have peace! There is SO much good being done by this wonderful ADI accredited organization and it deserves all the support it can get!! Don't judge by a few negative posts. Become involved and see for yourself all the great things this organization is doing for others!! Thanks for reading as I know I went long but could have went on even longer praising this organization.
Her is a link to Bella and George video and George receiving the (Great Dane) - 2015 AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence....these are the type of Service Dogs SDP breeds, raises and trains and puts out.. All of them!!
Review from Guidestar
Carlene White and Service Dog Project are changing lives for the better. They bred, raise and train Great Danes for those with mobility issues. Carlene has give her 12 acre farm all except one bedroom and bathroom (for her use) to the non profit to use. They donate dogs free of charge to the recipients. After the dogs are trained they are potentially matched with a person whom they can help. The dog has to bond with the person or no match. The dogs love to work, recipients comment they are now more active, out of wheelchairs and getting out of the house again. They can't get over the positive changes in their lives these dogs make. Those dogs that don't make it to becoming service dogs are often therapy dogs or demo dogs. Carlene makes sure the dogs are top priority and would do anything for them. Service Dog Project has seven live cameras 24/7 on Explore dot org. Those cameras only show a small portion of the farm and all the good that is done. I've been watching since the cams went live in 2012 and have been donating to them when possible. The world is a much better place with all the Carlene White and Service Dog Project are doing.
Review from Guidestar
Service Dog Project is a 5 star operation...This has to be the very best nonprofit organization out there.They are helping thousands of people with mobility issues.The volunteer staff is the best around.You cant get any better than this
Service Dog Project provides not only Perfect Service Dogs that each have a Positive story of their lives to tell, but the story of their life from day one. All Great Danes at SDP is hand cared for the moment they leave Mom and continue under close supervision, love and training by the skilled personal. This site has provided me the opportunity to learn, laugh, cry but most of all the support, mostly from small donations, of the World Wide Community of Camera People, Volunteers Donors and a few Grants. As has been said before, SDP is helping those in need 4 legs at a time.
Service Dog Project changes lives everyday. As a parent of two special needs children , SDP has been such a positive inspiration for my family. I have watched the children and adults whose lives have been transformed by being given a service dog especially trained for their mobility impairments. I found SDP through explore.org and their amazing array of cameras. The benefits from SDP extend worldwide as we watch pups from birth through placement with a recipient. It’s an enriching and educational community and gives me hope in the power of one persons dream realized...
After having worked in nonprofits for 23 years, I can spot a true nonprofit organization when I see one. I've been a Camera Person (CP) at Service Dog Project Inc. since 2015 and have greatly enjoyed watching the running of this well-run nonprofit. Watching the progress in the training of the dogs is amazing, and seeing and hearing about the adventures of the people gifted with service dogs is truly phenomenal. In addition, the care taken of the dogs and other animals, i.e., donkeys and guinea hens, is remarkable. I enjoy watching every day and can't wait for the barn and trainer talks and mail-call. I give five stars because Service Dog Project Inc. is the real thing with real people and genuine philanthropy.
It's grassroots Organizations like SDP that keep the world going. A combination of professionalism and selflessness on the parts of staff and volunteers is both rare and inspiring! As a donor, I full confidence, and know exactly how every nickel is used. Anyone who spends a little time with SDP's live cameras will have first-hand evidence!
I have followed and supported SDP for several years. This organization goes above and beyond to give people with mobility problems a new life. They breed, raise and train Great Danes under the guidance of Carlene White who lives on the 12-acre property where all this is done. At around the age of 1 year the dogs are given to recipients they choose and with whom they have bonded. With 7 or so Explore.org cameras on the property people from all over the world are able to watch this from start to finish and see for themselves what their donations are doing. Recipients are never charged for these service dogs and I believe a hundred or more Danes have been placed in service so far. Their success rate is phenomenal. SDP tries to give veterans priority in receiving dogs but they also have given dogs to children with muscular or neurological issues who are now able to live more normal lives. Perhaps you have seen Bella and George on TV. Bella is ten years old and because of George, her SDP service dog, she now walks, runs, and rides her bike, etc. just like any other kid. I would suggest everyone go to Explore.org and check out the Service Dog Project cameras for a firsthand look at what SDP does. Raising one of these dogs from birth to Service isn't cheap, about $20,000, and they are donated to recipients.
Review from Guidestar
I have been contributing to this non-profit organization for about four years. I will continue to do that in my very small way because of their mission to provide Great Danes to help people live with disabilities so that they can live and function. The recipients are matched very carefully according to their needs but also to give loving care to service dogs. The Great Danes, i’m reluctant to even call them dogs because they are so much more than that. The trainers, volunteers and all just like me who contribute and watch this amazing organization are a family!!
I have supported Service Dog Project since 2013 and have visited, flying from Nevada to volunteer and celebrate the work they do. I am nothing but grateful for every day they are able to fulfill their mission and do it with dedication and professionalism, smiling the whole time. . Carlene White, the founder, will snow plow if needed, put on her cowboy boots and get dirty while helping to solve a maintenance issue. The range of her knowledge seems at times unlimited. Her joy is a successful pairing of a service dog and their person...and let it be known...the dogs chose their person. When the recipients testify to the wonderful gift of their new life with their "best friend" the proof is irrefutable. The process works; the applicant review, the interview, the training and sensitivity to the individual personalities of the dogs and finally the magic when they see a dog bonding with a person. Their person. Service Dog Project gives and gives us miracles.
Review from Guidestar