Larry and Betty Milton, whose son Dallen, have received a service dog, Chip, from the SD Gunner Fund, talk about the experience.
Q: What is your name and current job title (if applicable) or role?
A: Larry and Betty Milton; Larry works full time at Gulfstream and Betty fulltime care giver for Dallen.
Q: When did you first learn about SD Gunner Fund?
A: Our family first learned of the SD Gunner Fund in March of 2016.
Q: What hopes did you have for your family in regards to the services of SD Gunner Fund?
A: Our hopes for our family was to help us obtain a service dog for Dallen. To help make our lives a little easier with the everyday struggle of raising a special needs child with a lot of different challenges.
Q: How have you seen the services they provide, and you service animal impact the life of your child and your family?
A: The services SDGF has provided to our family have been great, providing Dallen his service dog Chip, and helping providing extra training after Chip was returned to us. If I need help with any issues SDGF and their staff of trainers are always there to help answer my question and give guidance with any problems we may run into .
Q: What have been the challenges of owning a service animal?
A: The challenges of owning a service dog are real. You must continue to work daily on training at home to keep the child and dog in tune with each other. There are extra things that are required for all service dogs such as; grooming, special harnesses, and patches to make people aware that he is a working dog and not just a pet. Some breeds require special diets and treats. Extra cleaning of the house and vehicles is necessary to maintain proper hygiene. One of the greatest challenges is getting the public to understand what his role is in our family.
Q: How have you played a role in SD Gunner Fund since learning of the organization?
A: Since being accepted into the SDGF family we have done fundraisers and support through references and word of mouth. Also, being able to communicate with prospective clients about their services.
Q: For those unaware of what SD Gunner Fund is, can you share some personal insight?
A: Not only have we seen how our lives changed but also other children’s and service veterans’ lives have been touched by SDGF. We are all one big family through social media which is a great way for all of us to see how each family and service dog are dealing with everyday living. It is our hope that more veterans and children can be blessed in the way our family has since becoming involved with SDGF.