Helping disabled youth connect with disability dogs.
WheelAppeal is the brainchild of Donna Messer, the foster mom of Scarlett, a standard poodle puppy, and a dog guide in training.
Donna is a volunteer, and like many of us, she just wanted to do her part to help those less fortunate in the community. As a speaker, Donna travels across the country reaching audiences large and small, always bringing with her, Scarlett, her foster dog guide puppy.
During each presentation Scarlett, unknowingly, has created a new awareness of the value of dog guides. A well behaved, loveable puppy, Scarlett reaches out to children whenever they are in the room. She sits quietly waiting for permission to give her paw, a friendly lick or just to lay her head in the lap of a child in a wheelchair. She's not professional trained yet, but she has an instinctive need to be with children.
Donna quickly recognized that there are many Scarlett's out there and that it was time for everyone to recognize the value of these dogs, not just in service, but as special friends for kids with disabilities.
As a journalist, Donna began to research these special needs dogs and has found that there are agencies and volunteer groups across the country, each helping people in need through a variety of breeds. These dogs come from almost everywhere, shelters, rescued or from unwanted homes. Most of these dogs are partnered with people with disabilities and their training comes from many sources.
Using her ability to reach a large audience, Donna has begun a journey that will take her to meet the people behind the dogs who are being trained to make a difference in the lives of Canadians.
Donna has a special place in her heart for children, particularly children in wheelchairs, and she has quickly recognized that a service dog can truly make a difference to most of these kids. They can fetch, open doors, help a child in and out of bed. They can provide unconditional love and a companionship second to none! WheelAppeal is the initiative that Donna has begun to bring those children in wheelchairs together with those very special dogs who not only love children, their biggest reward is to be loved in return.
To be part of WheelAppeal, call Donna at 905-337-7378 or email her at email@example.com