In June 2011, I had an accident that resulted in an Acquired Brain Injury. As a result my life was disrupted and changed drastically. I began to experience extreme fatigue, pain, anxiety, depression, and many more symptoms, and this made it hard for me to even leave the house.
In 2019, I met Cara and Searchlight Services Dogs, and they changed my life for the better. With my service dog, I’m able to go out and do the things I love without the feelings of anxiety I used to have. Cara was amazing with helping me learn how to be with the dog, and creating and strengthening our bond.
Before, I had no reason to wake up in the morning. Now, every morning, I am greeted by my dog bringing me my medication and wagging his tail. It’s difficult for me to remember to take my multiple medications different times of the day, so having him hear my alarm go off and get my medication bag for me is a huge help.
Every day, I’m out with my service dog in public which I never used to do. He’s made it so much easier to be able to navigate in public without getting overwhelmed and shutting down.
I am so grateful to Cara and Searchlight Service Dogs for giving me a part of my life back. Thank you Cara!
I work with individuals who have an Acquired Brain Injury and I had the opportunity to witness the wonderful growth and development of one of my clients as the result of Searchlight Service Dogs incredible service.
Prior to working with Cara, this client experienced extreme social anxiety and therefore tended to self isolate. Once she began training with her Searchlight dog in public, with Cara's unwavering support and encouragement, she developed an amazing connection with her dog and as a result cultivated a sense of security and confidence that she didn't have before. She learned to be assertive, using a strong voice and confident body language, so her dog would trust and respond to her. It was obvious that as her connection with her dog grew, so did her comfort level with being out in the community and in social situations.
When a person struggles with social anxiety, having a service dog gives them something meaningful to focus on, creating a sense of comfort. People also tend to focus on the dog, rather than the individual which can create a great ice breaker and opportunity to practice socializing while feeling safe with their dog at their side.
Having a Searchlight Service Dog and the incredible confidence and commitment of Cara's training, made it all possible for my client. For individuals who struggle with a mental health condition and are seeking growth and independence, I highly recommend Searchlight Service Dogs for their outstanding commitment to helping their clients achieve their goals.
~ Amber West, Rehabilitation Therapist
My name is Tasha, I'm 16, and I don't think I would be here today without Maiden, Cara, and Searchlight Service Dogs.
At one of the lowest points of my life, Cara, the Head Trainer, told my Mom that she had a dog that she thought would be a good match for me. I met Maiden for the first time in October, 2019 and it was love at first sight. My Mom says that we were made for each other, and I think she was right.
I started training with Maiden in May and on June 3,2020, we became an inseparable team. She has been by my side day and night ever since. It wasn't easy in the beginning because I had to learn to trust Maiden and she needed to learn how to be there for me. We had a lot of growing pains over the first few months, but Cara was always there to help us get through the tough times. Now, Maiden knows how I feel ever before I do.
Maiden has changed my life in so many ways. Sometimes, my emotions seem to get so intense that I can't control them. Maiden knows when this happens and she is able to get my attention so that I focus or her. That tells me that it is time for me to take some time so I can rein in my emotions and get control of myself again.
I have had severe anxiety for as long as I can remember. Cara has trained Maiden to recognize the signs that I am getting nervous, and she alerts to them before it reaches a full-blown panic attack. I know that when Maiden alerts to a problem that it is time for me to take a little break and calm down. With Maiden, I am able to control my anxiety and do things that I only wished I could do before. With her by my side, I have the confidence to talk to people I don't know without being embarrassed. I smile a lot more, and l even did my driver's test and passed!
Searchlight Service Dogs and Cara have helped to make my life worth living. When I graduate from high school, I want to be a chef. Now that I have Maiden to help me, I know that my dream will come true.
I am Tasha's Mom, Juanita. For me, Cara and Searchlight have been nothing short of a miracle. Before Maiden came into our lives, I rarely slept because I was afraid to leave Tasha alone. Now, I know that Maiden will alert us if Tasha is in danger.
There is no way that I can ever repay Cara for the gift she has given our family. Tasha smiles so much more than she ever did before. She finds joy in spending time with Maiden and teaching her new things. She is excited to take Maiden to school every day. Tasha's screen time, alone in her room, has dropped dramatically. Instead, she prefers to go to the park or explore the nature trails with her dog. Most importantly, Tasha talks about the future; the places she wants to go, and things she wants to do. Cara and Maiden have helped Tasha blossom into the beautiful young lady she was meant to be with a bright future ahead of her.
Service Dog "Blue"