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Summit Assistance Dogs, P.O. Box 699, Anacortes, WA 98221 (360) 293-5609 info@summitdogs.org

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Karen and Carmel

In Memory of Karen

Karen waited 8 years to receive a dog and had applied to several organizations before finding out about Summit. We had the good fortune of getting to know this incredible lady and making her dream come true in 2003 by partnering her with a Summit mobility assistance dog, Carmel. I remember on her first day at team training, Karen, who was paralyzed from a rare virus at age 3, said “If you told me I had to stand on my head to get a service dog I would have figured out a way to do it”. Karen was an amazing woman. She worked at Boeing, and often said that Carmel was the ‘office therapy dog’ as many of Karen’s workmates would go into her office, and actually crawl around on the floor with Carmel for a bit of a reprieve from the rigors of the work day. She volunteered so much of her time for Summit, speaking to many groups about how having a service dog had improved her life. One line that always stuck with people was the fact that with Carmel by her side, she no longer felt invisible in public. People saw Carmel, and did not look away. Rather, they approached her to ask about her canine helpmate, and soon realized that Karen was as lovely as a person could be. Last year, Karen passed away. We at Summit are so fortunate to have known Karen, and will miss her greatly. A legacy of Karen’s is that Carmel now serves another individual with disabilities.