V.I.P. Service Dog Foundation


We are so thankful to V.I.P. for helping to make our family complete by providing us a devoted service dog for our son. He has struggled with many behaviors due to his autism spectrum disorder but we could not be more pleased with the changes we have seen since we have received our service dog placement a short time ago. They are a perfect forever team! Donna as well as our trainer have been incredibly supportive throughout the entire process. Their expertise is evident as well as their compassion for the individuals & families they serve. Since receiving our dog, it truly feels like a new world has been opened up to us!
Guinness and Gunner are doing great! Can't say enough about how much we ADORE Guinness. What a difference he has made in our world already! They are doing awesome! Gunner is sleeping thru the night for the first time in his ENTIRE life with Guinness by his side. Gunner says that Guinness "solves all his problems"
In order to understand the impact that Hunter, my son’s VIP Service Dog, has had on my son, you first need to be introduced to what it’s like to BE my son.
Caden is my 10 year old son who has a rare condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) aka Brittle Bone Disorder. That means that his bones are so weak that they fracture under little stress.  There is no known cure. 
He came into the world at 31 1/2 weeks fighting for his life. He came very close to losing the fight once or twice. At 4 months, he was diagnosed and it was discovered that, at that point, he had already fractured both ankles, his right arm, his left leg and his ribs at different places. He goes on to have multiple fractures and surgery through the years. This past summer, he suffered multiple spinal compression fractures and has had to undergo painful, experimental treatment in an attempt to increase his bone density.  He is currently preparing for another round of treatment.  
  • At school, he continues to receive therapy and is assigned a one on one aid to keep him safe and provide assistance.  His condition forces him to keep distance from his peers for safety reasons.  
    Caden and Hunter were matched almost 2 years ago.  It was a difficult match to make because the dog that he needed had to be exceptionally gentle yet strong.  VIP found the perfect dog and provided the circumstances to make everything work.  
    Now, Caden and Hunter are inseparable. They sleep together, eat together, go to school together and play together.  They are very rarely apart and for that short amount of time, they are constantly looking for each other.  Hunter carries to school the things that Caden can no longer bear on his spine. He retrieves items Caden drops in the event that Caden is wheelchair bound.  He opens doors when Caden cannot.  Not only has Hunter prevented Caden from falling and fracturing but he has given him a kind of independence that he has never known before. He walks confidently with one hand on his dog. He navigates through crowds without having to holding my hand. He walks, feeds, corrects and rewards his dog. Hunter has given him the ability to be more himself and not just the-kid-that-breaks-easily.  
    When he was a baby, I felt paralyzed with fear for what dangers he would have to face in the world. Now, I see the world open up a little more for him ... to make way for the dog at his side.
    -   2014   


    This is one of our 1st placed dogs.

    So proud of Hunter and Caden

    Not quite the #10yearchallenge

    9 years ago ...

    While Caden continued to receive more surgeries, he is now independent. And Hunter is retired. Their partnership made so much possible.

    The independence and level of care Caden received because of Hunter is unparalleled. Hunter has done so much more than just keep Caden safe. And he did that well. He was Caden's constant companion and gateway to socialization. He continues to be Caden's emotional watchdog. There would be so much kept out of his reach if it weren't for Hunter.

    Today, Caden is a senior in HS. He is in a Culinary Arts program c/o College of Lake County and stronger than ever.

    Hunter is eating a biscuit while we have our coffee and is enjoying a well earned retirement as a family pet without responsibilities.

    They've both come so far.

    9 years ago, I was worried they'd miss this opportunity. This restored my faith in humanity. And it's a good reminder when I feel that faith threatened.

    There is good in the world. My son and his dog are proof of that.








We've only had Samson 10 months and life as we know it has completely changed. He's more than a service dog, he's taken on the persona of an older brother.  Day one (literally) my child wakes up sick and Samson is there. Apparently he doesn't do bodily fluids, but when I finished cleaning up I found him in the bed watching over my son . In that moment I knew he was the one.
Samson is extremely smart, patient, and kind, and Mason loves to be with him at all times- be it in the bathtub or on the kitchen floor.  Subsequently, my son's language and communication skills have improved. I love to see them playing (something he has yet to do with other children) and spontaneously he begins to speak.  In ten months Samson has accomplished the results six years of speech therapy had not. Whatever the future may bring, I know he'll be there watching over him. A friend and companion continually aiding him to independence.

Khasan G.