Dear Friend of ECAD,
How are you feeling? I hope you’re safe and well. And, I hope our pups have been keeping you company and bringing a bit of joy to these unbelievably challenging times.
It’s tough to put down on paper just how important you are. You, and other friends like you, make sure people living with disabilities can achieve the independence they deserve. I can’t thank you enough. Our Clients can’t thank you enough. All the future Service Dogs can’t thank you enough, too!
I want to tell you about a very special boy, Timothy. A little boy who’s life has already been transformed by your generosity. A little boy whose life you changed only four short years ago—who needs you again right now.
The Eslinger family realized they had to have a Service Dog for their son, Timothy, over six years ago. Timothy is autistic and at age eight would act out his trauma in ways that would disrupt everyone, ways that were frightening to his family, to strangers, and dangerous to Timothy himself.
All that changed when YOU paired Timothy with Sky Rocket four years ago. Sky was a miracle dog. He and Timothy bonded at first sight. Now, tragically, Sky had to be retired due to a fast moving and fatal cancer. A reality that is threatening to shatter the Eslinger family.
Your incredible dedication to people living with disabilities and the dogs we breed to meet their needs makes you the most important part of the solution for the Eslingers and other families like them.
Life without a Service Dog as a member of the family is unthinkable to mom Jeannine, and dad Bill Eslinger. It is painful to think about for anyone who has interacted with the family. Sky has made so many good moments, happy moments possible: for Tim, now 13, for his 10 year old siblings, Christopher and Sarah, for his parents.
“It’s hard to remember a time without Sky,” Bill said.
The event that triggered their search for an organization that would place a Service Dog with Timothy, who is non-verbal, was an airplane trip six years ago.
“Timothy was totally unmanageable. He would not stay in his seat. We couldn’t hold him there. He had a total meltdown. We were almost asked to leave the flight. Fortunately, the attendants were understanding and eventually the plane took off with us on it. But it was traumatic for all of us.”
“We don’t want to medicate Tim, so we started looking for the right Service Dog and that lead us to ECAD. It was a long process—it took about two years once we found ECAD—and we had a lot of help with the fundraising—but it was worth the wait.”
Yes, because of YOU, the Eslingers had the perfect solution to save their son—and their family. And they need your help again, today.
“Sky has been worth all the effort to get him. Within a week of Sky being here, Timothy was able to walk down the aisle at a family wedding. He stood between his brother and Sky. That meant so much to Tim and to everyone there,” Jeannine recalled.
“Then, within a year, we took a family trip to Disney World. With Sky by his side, Tim had no trouble waiting in line and this was huge as before he would have been uncontrollable. We got on the plane and Sky nestled under Tim’s seat and Tim flew both ways without a problem. There were no issues and Sky was excited to be helping.”
But recently, Timothy’s family learned that Sky Rocket has a very rare form of cancer. He only has months left to live. As a kind and compassionate person, you can imagine the despair. As a dog-lover, you can imagine the devastation.
Timothy and his family may lose all the progress they’ve made— without you.
Four years is just the start of Timothy and Sky’s journey to independence.
Unfortunately, it will be cut short without your help.
Sky Rocket brought so much joy and comfort to Timothy’s family. And independence and safety to Timothy. They can not fathom what they will do without Sky. With your help, Timothy and his family won’t have to.
Your gift of just $25, $50, or an amazing $100 gift today can ensure that there’s a dog ready for Timothy and other children like him.
I know you don’t want Timothy or his family to lose one day of the safety and security Sky Rocket brought into their lives. I am truly touched at how you and supporters like you care for your fellow man. Your generosity is overwhelming.
“Sky has been of enormous help in big and small ways. Tim doesn’t respond well to noises and will bolt to get away, especially toward our car in parking lots, for example. He doesn’t understand the danger or consequences. By being tethered to Sky, who responds to my commands, they stop. Of course, Tim thinks he is walking Sky, not that Sky is walking him. The same is true when we go on the ferry to Fire Island to visit family. Tim focuses on Sky and everything is okay.”
“Before Sky joined our family, Tim couldn’t go to his siblings’ sports events, to malls or restaurants. This limited what we could do as a family. Now, with Sky we have been able to do all those things.”
“Having Sky means that Tim can actually visit with Santa at Christmas. Sky helps Tim wait patiently in line for this, too. Sky is great because he lets Tim think he’s the one in charge, when it is actually Sky.” It is you that granted the Eslingers’ wish for Timothy to have the “normal” experiences of other children his age.
The compassion you show when you give to ECAD makes a difference in the lives of people like Timothy and their families. Without your commitment to improving the lives of the people around you, young children like Timothy would have limited options for mobility and independence.
Your gift today, can ensure Timothy and his family don’t have to lose all the progress they’ve made together.
Click here to donate. And help Timothy and so many others like him live the life of independence they deserve.
Jeannine asserts that “any change is scary for Tim and he can start to have a meltdown. Sky is a substantial boy and he just goes and lies on Tim’s lap as he has been trained to do and Tim calms down...Sky has been a Service Dog for all of us, he is always there when we need him. He allows us to do things as a family that other people take for granted.”
You have created a world of less chaos and more safety for Timothy.
“Tim enjoys the routine of school. That’s a piece of cake. Sky has been there for Tim all the other times when he can’t cope, or when he wants to run into a busy parking lot. Sky has saved our boy,” says dad, Bill.
But, it wasn’t just Sky Rocket who saved Timothy and the Eslingers, it was YOU TOO. You brought their family back together.
“They have been a good team. The great thing about Sky, even with his size, he doesn’t pull Tim—he lets Tim take the lead. That is important to Tim.”
You do so much for the Clients who come to ECAD looking for independence, and they need you now more than ever. So please—take just a few minutes to make your gift online. Timothy, the Eslingers and so many families just like them will continue to thank you.
“We know that right now, due to COVID-19, holding fundraising events would be impossible. None of the options we had before are available to us now,” Jeannine said. And although they are actively fundraising, they still need YOUR HELP.
Both of the Eslingers agreed that this “generosity would help to ease their heartbreaking grief over losing Sky.” And it will help Timothy continue the progress YOU’VE MADE POSSIBLE over the past four years.
As I talked to Jeannine and Bill, and they were sharing their story the sentiment was clear—life without a Service Dog in their lives is unimaginable, unthinkable as Sky has made all their lives as a family possible, and you made Sky possible for them. And, I can think of no higher honor.
Jeannine expressed to me her heartfelt gratitude to anyone even considering making a gift that would help them to get “a Successor Dog, a best friend for Timothy, and a Service Dog who will allow us to keep functioning as a family.”
Yes, that’s you. You invoke the deepest gratitude from Jeannine and her family. Because you’ve saved them. Will you save them again?
Today—before this tumultuous year comes to an end, you can make the dreams Jeannine, Bill, Timothy and their family a reality. And help so many other families like theirs by donating online TODAY.
The Eslingers are furever grateful for your support. I am furever grateful for your support.