As a kid, Emma was unstoppable. Then, Emma got too sick to run and her childhood “tummy trouble” turned into something debilitating. Eventually diagnosed with multiple chronic illnesses (including Crohn’s Disease, dysautonomia, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia). Despite missing over half of her 10th and 12th grade years of high school, Emma graduated with an IB Diploma and was accepted into American University in Washington D.C.

During her first year of college, Emma’s symptoms progressed, making her question whether or not she would be able to stay in school.

Then, she found Roverchase’s service dog school. This was the exact program that Emma had been looking for. Our school is a smaller program that doesn’t mass produce service dogs, ensuring quality training and optimal matching between handlers and service dogs. Since we were located just a few miles from where Emma lived, she would also able to be involved in her service dog’s training while she was home over the summer.

When Emma and Cabbage first met, it was love at first sight. They were matched together a few weeks later.

Cabbage is a one-year-old golden retriever whose dad is already a service dog. His biggest task will be bracing to assist Emma with balance to prevent as many falls as possible, and help her get up when she does fall. Cabbage also will be able to perform daily tasks such as turning on and off lights, opening and closing doors and drawers, and retrieving objects.

Cabbage will finish his mobility support and retrieval training as a service dog before becoming Emma’s full-time service dog in January 2020.

Emma and Cabbage the Birmingham Service Dog

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