January 11, 2012

Service dog within reach for boy with epilepsy

The family of 12-year-old Seth Richards appeals for help so he can get training and obtain a friend for life.

By Dennis Hoey dhoey@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Seth Richards, who has epilepsy, spends time with a service dog similar to one he will be paired with once he is trained.

Photo courtesy of Richards family

His parents have never let anyone else care for him because others fear they might not be able to respond effectively to a seizure.

They need financial aid because Seth's father was laid off from his job almost two years ago and his mother can't work because taking care of her son has become her full-time job.

Seth has a sister, Falon, who is 15 years old.

The only pastime he is allowed to pursue -- with his parents riding by his side -- is dirt biking. He rides the bike covered from head to toe in a helmet and protective gear along the camp road that they live on.

"We allowed him to do this because we saw our little boy not being able to be a little boy. It's really scary for us as parents, but we can't take that away from him," his mother said.

The Richards applied to Canine Assistants more than five years ago for a service dog. The organization has a current waiting list of about 1,600 people.

Things started to look up last year when the organization connected the family to a couple of corporate sponsors. Shaw's Supermarkets and Milk-Bone, a maker of dog products, agreed to pay for the care and training of a service dog for Seth.

The family learned recently that in Seth's case, a service dog will be assigned to him. The family will be introduced to the dog at the organization's training camp in May.

To assist the family, send a check payable to "Service Dog for Seth Fund" to Key Bank, 1278 Roosevelt Trail, Raymond, ME, 04071.

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:



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