Service Dogs, Inc.

Nova = Freedom!

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My Name is Robert Gould.

I am married with three kids, my oldest son (Trey) is married and lives in Midland, my two girls (Mary and Morgan) live with me and my wife.  I have always loved horses, rodeo, hunting and being involved in my kids lives as much as possible.

Fifteen years ago, I was diagnosed with Freiderich’s ataxia, which has greatly changed my life. I face so many challenges every day. I am wheelchair dependent now but still try to maintain my freedom and stay involved.

There are so many simple things that people take for granted everyday that I find very difficult – dropping my phone can take me over an hour to retrieve, depending on where I dropped it. I rely on my phone to call for help if needed and wind up dropping it a dozen or so times on an average day (this is due to my ataxia and not being able to grasp things). I have dropped it in places that I am not able to retrieve it and have fallen out of my chair in the process where I have to remain until I get help. Now, I have Nova who makes this huge obstacle a thing of the past.

I plan everywhere I go to make sure I will be able to get in and out of my vehicle as well as the place I am at. Not everything is handicap friendly.

I wanted a Service Dog because to be more independent, to not rely on others so much, to make life a little easier.

I chose Service Dogs, Inc. because I am so impressed with this organization. They have been amazing! I chose them because they take these shelter dogs and transform them into amazing service dogs. All this is done free of charge to the recipient – that is incredible.

The first time I met Nova I just knew we were a match! Working with Service Dogs, Inc. and its staff has been amazing! I loved my experience – everyone needs to be commended – they go above and beyond. I will never be able to thank them enough.

Nova is great! She helps me by retrieving all the things I drop everyday, opens doors for me, is an amazing companion. My whole family LOVES her!

I feel she has given me the confidence to be more independent. Nova is so smart and so sweet, very loyal, dependable, really an amazing dog! Everyone LOVES Nova!

I have more confidence, less stress, happier since getting Nova.

How do you say thank you for that? You cannot imagine the impact Nova has had on my day to day life. Sometimes I do not think people realize how hard it is for me to do the day to day things others take for granted. Nova has helped ease some of that frustration. I will forever be grateful for the gift of Nova. Thank you, thank you!

As I have said, I will never be able to thank the sponsor, Service Dogs, Inc, and all the staff for everything you have done. This is an amazing organization and I feel so very grateful to have been given Nova. She really has changed my life. Thank you!

Robert Gould

See Robert and Nova in action in Dogs @ Work!