56% of $32,000 goal
Fundraiser since Nov 2022
Share Jennifer Wirth's Page
90% of $16,000 goal
I’m an 8 1/2 year old English Cream Labrador who lives in Southern California with my pack of loving, adventure-seeking, and often cosplay-dressing humans who have an affinity for movie references.
The rebarkable Mills family gave me my name. My hu-mom loved it because I became the Gromit to my pack’s pet dog, Wally (aka Wallace), as in the British stop-motion cartoon “Wallace and Gromit.”
Like my namesake, I’m the faithful canine sidekick that is always down for shenanigans (or a nap) while simultaneously stealing everyone's heart with my super-smart doggo ways. And most importantly, I always have my boy's back.
Mack is the pawesomest guy in the world.
He's a huge fan of Pokémon, MetaZoo, Nintendo, anime, sports, and collecting baseball/football cards. He's also a history buff; we spend our free time watching World War I and WWII documentaries. And, like most 19-year-olds, Mack likes music too, and we blast his favorite group, Sabaton, while riding in the car.
We’ve been best buds for over six years!
I've gone everywhere with Mack - Disneyland, amusement parks, our brother Liam's concerts, Comic-Con, family vacations, prom, school, restaurants, etc. You name it; we've done it.
I get to do all these amazing things because I'm Mack's service dog, and it's my job to open the world for him.
“Adventure is out there!”
That’s our pack’s motto. The quote comes from the movie UP! I think it pawfectly fits us because we're a military family and nothing wags our tails more than exploring new places, people, and smells. Mmmm smells.
When we first met, Mack struggled with sensory processing and mobility issues like walking through crowds. Many physical environments were a source of sensory overload and emotional distress. He'd even elope or wander away at times.
In social situations, Mack was often misunderstood.
He desperately wanted to make friends at school but didn't understand how to approach and talk to other kids because of difficulties with communication, social skills, and sustaining focus. He's been spat on, pushed, slapped, and hit because of these misunderstandings and his ineffective, misguided attempts to make friends. Even after being attacked, Mack would still try to be the stranger’s friend, which became a significant safety issue.
Mack has an invisible disability, but his challenges are very real.
The fact is that strangers are more inclined to fear and anger rather than empathy when they are unable to see a reason for someone's perceived "weird" or "bad" behavior.
Can you imagine feeling so misunderstood and alone that the only way to cope is to isolate yourself from the world?
That is until I arrived.
My pawrents say that I'm the key to opening up Mack's world.
For the last six years, we’ve had all kinds of adventures together and taken on activities that once were impossible: trips to the grocery store, enjoying family time at the Padre’s game, and even traveling across the country to visit family. And guess what? My boy makes new friends wherever we go.
I guess you could say our team is kind of a big deal. But don't take my woof for it, The Orange Country Register featured Mack and me in an article about Comic-Con, declaring that Service Dogs are Superheros at the Convention.
My job has been the most fun and rewarding pawsition a service pup could ever wish to have!
Here's the thing: as Mack’s gotten older, so have I. And, being the conscientious canine I am, I know it's time to start retirement planning.
Don’t worry. I’ll still be part of the pack.
I’ll take on a new role as Mack’s downtime snuggle buddy and spend my gold years napping, playing fetch, taking walks on the beach, and playing in the ocean.
Oh, and belly rubs. My favorite!
I aim to hang up my service dog vest for good by the end of 2024 when I’m nine years old.
But first, we’ll need to fetch my ultimutt replacement.
Service animals are federally recognized under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and must be allowed to accompany their handler in most places where the public can go. The dog must be trained to take a specific action when needed to assist the person with a disability. Emotional support, therapy, comfort, and companion animals do not qualify as service animals because they have not been trained to perform a specific job or task, they do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.
My pawrents are working with Good Dog Service Canines to find my puptastic successor.
Good Dog! Service Canines is the same nonprofit organization that raised, trained, and expertly matched me to Mack and my family. We've had a wonderful experience with them, especially since they provide ongoing education and support for the lifetime of each service dog they place. Additionally, as a member of Assistance Dogs International, they use positive training methods and strictly follow their guidelines for dog training and care and support standards.
Needless to say, my successor will be top-notch. They’ll go through two years of professional training with their puppy raisers and dog trainers to learn how to do everything I do for Mack.
There’s so much that goes into becoming a service dog.
That’s why service dog program costs are expensive.
Like, $32,000 expensive.
Yikes, I know. I have got zoomies just thinking about it.
But the life-changing results are priceless.
Mack's family is committed to raising a minimum of $16,000 needed to ensure he has a new service dog by his side when I retire.
So I've started a retirement fundraiser to help cover the costs of my successor.
And that's where you come in.
By donating to my fundraiser, you’ll help Mack get the successor service dog he needs to continue living his best life. As an extra treat, you’ll also help me retire.
Click the "Donation" button to make a difference now.
You can also mail a check to waive the small credit card fees. Please note that mailed donations are recorded and deposited at each month's end.
Indicate "Grom's Retirement Fundraiser" on your check’s memo line and send it to:
Remember, your donation applies to many corporate matching programs. Please check with your HR department to get your company's support.
Your generosity means I'll be able to retire, knowing Mack is in good paws.
Please share our story and this fundraiser with your friends, family, co-workers, and anyone else you think would like to be a hero to Mack and me. Our pack is small, so we’ll need all the help we can get to reach our fundraising goal. Every little bit helps and is appreciated.
Wags + Gratitude,
Good Dog! Grom & Family
All gifts are received with the greatest gratitude.
Good Dog! Autism Companions was founded in 2011 by the parents of an autistic boy. After getting a service dog for their son, they soon realized the life-changing benefits these dogs could provide to so many more. Today, Good Dog! Service Canines provides highly trained service dogs to children with disabilities and their families, helping them live better lives! Each dog is professionally trained using only positive reinforcement methods because we believe the true power of the human/canine bond is brought about through a loving, trusting relationship. Good Dog! Autism Companions, founded in 2011, has expanded its services to help more kids and families. We are now doing business as Good Dog! Service Canines. Thanks to all whose support let the love grow!
For more information, visit gooddogservicecanines.org.