My daughter Drew received a companion/helper dog from Summit in the Spring of 2010. Drew was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy when she was 6 months old. She is in a wheelchair and physically she relies on others to do most things for her. Drew says the day she received her dog, Feather, was one of the best days of her life. Feather and Drew have a special connection and they love each other. Summit is a wonderful organization. They have brought a lot of joy to Drew's life.
My name is Emma and I am 5 years old. Just before my fourth birthday my legs started hurting so bad that I couldn't walk. My mom and dad had to carry me a lot, but they thought I was just jealous because I had a new baby brother that got to be carried everywhere. But then at my fourth birthday party my mom and dad bought me an American Girl doll and I barely smiled because my legs and arms hurt so bad. I was so miserable I even let my best friend Megan open all my presents for me. After my birthday party, my parents took me to Children's Hospital emergency room. About two weeks later, I was diagnosed with a rare, incurable, auto-immune disease called Juvenile Dermatomyositis. Basically this disease causes my body to attack it's own healthy muscle tissues causing joint pain and skin rash. About six months later, a friend of my moms suggested we should apply for a therapy dog from Summit Assistance Dogs. I got to meet lots of different dogs, but a Golden Retriever named Anya fell in love with me and I fell in love with her immediately. In August we finally got to take Anya home with us. We are best friends. My mom and dad say that we are so blessed by all the people at Summit and we wouldn't even have Anya if it wasn't for them. I am very happy. Love, Emma Smiddy (age 5)
Summit Assistance Dogs is a small organization with a life changing, lasting impact. For the select few that receive service dogs each year, their life substantially changes. Receipients have described the impact of their disability (whether caused by accident or disease) as isolating them to an island from their old life and the rest of the world. Having a service dog has allowed them to build roads off the island back into 'normal' society. Whether it allows them to get out of the house more, have more freedom in doing actions on their own, or feeling more safe in their daily activities - we are talking about a life changing impact. Summit has also expanded their impact to include allowing prisoners to re-learn compasion and relationship building by performing some of the training for service animals, trying to match service animals with veterans in support of PTSD recovery, and always trying to provide increasing numbers of dogs they can train and place. This is a organization that operates significantly based off of volunteer hours and individual donations - so you can know any money or time contributed goes directly to helping those in need - in a life changing way.
I volunteer with Summit Assistance Dogs. They are a great organization that really cares about their dogs, training them well and providing their clients with the best fit. They care about all the details and will make sure that their dogs and their clients are in good hands at the end of the day. Highly recommend them to anyone as a great organization to use or support.
I am a support and resource coordinator in the state of Washington, I have recommended several families to Summit . Their care in placement and matching individuals and dogs is wonderful. The quality of training is excellent . Their dedication to providing a service to individuals with a disability is remarkable. I have had the privilege of knowing an individual who received a service dog from them very well. It gave me the opportunity to see the care they gave in training, placement, follow up and support. I was also lucky enough to observe what an amazing difference the service dog made in the life of the young lady he was placed with. They are inseparable friends and a seamless working team. Independence,friendship,joy, acceptance are only a few things the service animal brought to this young lady's life. I would highly recommend supporting this great nonprofit in the amazing work they do!
What I love about Summit Assistance Dogs is that the dogs provided to the adults and children with disabilities not only provide assistance, they are a loyal companion and in some cases, when possible, the assistance dog has been rescued. Not only is Summit helping people with disabilities, they are helping dogs too. It's just a great organization!
Volunteering with Summit Assistance Dogs has been challenging, filed with laughter and of course tears when it is time to send 'my' charge off to the next phase of training. But then I get to work with another pup....and eventually getting to know the staff, recipients and fellow volunteers and we share the joy of each new dog-handler partnership.
I have voluntered for Summit for over 4 years now. It's amazing the job they do, their professionalism and the end results of their work.
I received a Summit dog to provide therapy for my classroom of special needs students. My students are excited to come to school everyday to see "Daisy ". Not only does Daisy help my students emotionally, but I have found that test scores and reading levels have improved with the students who receive Daisy's therapy. I am so thankful to Summit for helping me improve the lives of my students.
This is just a great organazation...its people...its mission and vision...its careful use of funds....takes great care of the dogs.....serves the community well......matches well with its clients.....a hug and well done for all who advance the goods of Summit Assistance Dogs.... they not only get 5 stars from they also get 5 woofs from my dog Sophie...Me Ke Aloha Pumehana
I have been involved peripherally with this wonderful organization as a volunteer. They fulfill a great need for those who can benefit from an assistance dog. The staff here is amazing, doing lots of outreach projects such as providing dogs for inmates and working with them to train the dogs to be good service dogs. They get many of their service dogs from local shelters, providing yet another valuable service. They manage to do all this on a shoestring, with a dedicated staff and volunteer force. This is just a wonderful organization. I am proud to be associated with them.
My husband and I were joint applicants for a dog, and we brought home a beautiful Golden Retriever just this month. There is no way to fully express our joy and gratitude for this incredible gift! He has truely changed our lives for the better. During training we met trainers and other volunteers and were very impressed with their thougherness and dedication. They care about the future of both their dogs and their clients. Overall, they are awesome!
What an amazing organization! It just doesn't get any better - bringing together the best of humans and animals. I've been volunteering for Summit for quite some time now, yet ever year I'm impressed again by their professionalism and dedication. I love the people and the dogs, and it's all for such a great cause. I'm looking forward to being part of this group for many years to come!
As a psychologist and a longtime volunteer for Summit, I have witnessed the amazing changes a service dog can make in the quality of so many people's lives. Volunteering to interview applicants and assist in matching them with service dogs has been an extremely rewarding experience. Additionally, I have been very impressed with the dedication and integrity of the people working in the organization and the quality of their work.
As I write this review, my service dog Togo is cuddled up next to me on the bed. There is no greater healing than this sensation of Togo gently breathing, with his body snug against my leg. Togo and I just completed our training together this month. There truly are no words to properly express my new life with Togo. Summit Assistance Dogs does so much more than matching people with their forever companion, they bring unconditional love into people's lives. When I applied for a service dog with Summitt Assistance Dogs, I had just lost my previous dog to cancer. They were so determined to find me a match to ensure my quality of life did not continue to decline. The expertise and dedication of the staff and trainers to find my match was absolutely incredible. After meeting Togo for the first time, I fell absolutely in love. Thankfully, Togo chose me as well. The training Togo and I went through was extensive and thorough. Ensuring that not only would I be competent in handling Togo, but that our bond together was complete. The staff and trainers did everything possible to work with my disabilities and supported me in every aspect of the application, matching and training process. I feel as if I've made life-long friends. It's not often that people can say they have changed a life. Well, the people of Summit Assistance Dogs get to go home every night and know that they have changed so many lives and continue to do so. It's obvious that everyone at Summit is there because they have a passion for what they do. I will be forever greatful to this amazing organization and the people who made sure that my life will be forever enriched by the skills and love of my boy Togo.
LucSherry wrote: I received a service dog from Summit 2 years ago. I can't express fully, through words, how having a Summit dog has enhanced the quality of my life. Summit is very conscientious when it comes to placing their service dogs; they care that the right dog matches with the right person, and they're VERY good at knowing how to do that. Summit follows up, and stays in touch with their clients. Should a situation arise where dog and client have difficulty in meshing as a team, Summit's exceptional trainers will willingly work with them until the issue has been resolved. This organization's cornerstone is one of integrity, and compassion. They make a profound impact on the lives of the clients which they serve.
Volunteering for Summit Assistance Dogs has been a pleasure of mine for at least 10 years. It is one of those experiences that fulfill the pledge that one gets far more out of the time spent than those to whom the benefit is given. In any capacity, my relatively minimal contribution has been welcomed and appreciated and it is this feeling of belonging that encourages us further. We volunteers are proud to be associated with everyone (and every DOG) at Summit.
I had raised service dogs for another group, so I knew what kind of training I thought was best. When I was in the need of a service dog myself, I did a lot of research. Summit Assistance Dogs was one of two schools I thought I could work with. During my interview process, the staff let me interview them as well. I choose to apply for a Summit Assistance Dog. I am very happy! My match with Murphy was perfect! The trainers evaluate each dog separately as well as each client's needs. Matching the pair is very important to the staff. I am now in the process of retiring Murphy and will be applying for a successor dog from Summit Assistance Dogs.
I was placed with my service dog Titus from Summit a few years back and it was one of the best experiences of my life. The trainers and staff there are incredibly competent and patient. During the intensive 2 week training course they helped train me to become a dog handler and worked with my needs as a disabled person to make sure that my dog knew what I needed. My time with Titus since has been incredibly meaningful and rewarding beyond my expectations. He does all the things you might expect from a service dog. Retrieve dropped items, understand and follow commands, and even open doors. But, it is his wonderful ability to melt social barriers that has changed the way I see myself in public and led to so many interesting encounters with people I would have been too shy to meet on my own. Summit and Titus have enriched my life, but there's still so many people in need of a dog. Please, help Summit grow so that more people can have a Titus of their own!