CFC contributions from federal employees are essential to our ability to create life-changing partnerships between service dogs and people living with mobility disabilities. Because of your support, we’ve graduated multiple service dog teams this year, including Kris and Jazz.
Summit client Kris and service dog Jazz graduated as a team in July 2021, and Kris has already seen his life transform for the better. Kris has a condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which is a genetic disease affecting the central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, and voluntary muscle movement. Kris applied for a service dog from Summit because "As someone with a disability that is reliant on others for many aspects of my life, I'm constantly searching for ways to be more independent. I'm also a single guy that works from home, so other than my caregivers, I spend a lot of time alone. I've always loved dogs and a service dog can provide companionship, while also performing tasks for me that I would otherwise be reliant on others for, increasing my independence."
Kris has long had an interest in graphic design and runs his own online apparel company, Snappy Clothing. In addition to his work, he loves going to music and sporting events, as well as traveling with friends and family. When Kris first met Jazz earlier this year, it was apparent to all in the room that they were a match.
"Jazz was sweet, smart, and happy, but not too hyper," says Kris. "She walked and responded well to my cues. The icing on the cake, though, was toward the end of our pairing appointment, Jazz put her front paws up on my armrest and kissed the side of my face! My heart melted a little in that moment!"
In these first days of their partnership, Jazz has already shown a great eagerness to be of help. She loves to open and close doors and is learning to pick up all different types of objects. They've been going for walks in the neighborhood and plan to explore some parks and trails. As the COVID pandemic eases, the team hopes to venture out more for shopping and entertainment-based outings.
Kris shares that "Jazz constantly makes me happy! From her eagerness to perform tasks, to the excitement she gets playing with her toys, and her sweet demeanor when giving kisses or snuggles...she's always making me smile and laugh. She's also been giving me a good excuse to get away from work and get outside and enjoy the sunny weather. It's impossible to quantify the value and impact these dogs have on their partners. I'm so grateful for all the hard work Summit puts into raising and training these dogs, and for the supporters who make it all possible."
Thank you CFC supporters for making partnerships like Kris and Jazz’s possible!