Service Golden Sumner is so needed

Sheridan Man Gets New Best Friend For Christmas
By Jennifer Woody, Today’s THV

Christmas is here a little early for one Sheridan man. He’s been selected to receive a golden retriever from Southwest Service Dogs.

Michael Gartman was injured in a car accident and needs help now tackling daily tasks. That’s where Sumner the dog comes in. After the two complete some training, Michael gets to take the pup home.

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Although he’s burned on 55 percent of his body, on most days Michael Gartner can still walk. Today, however, he can’t rely on his leg; so it’s a good thing his shopping partner has four of them.

If Sumner the golden retriever passes his service dog test, he’ll get to stay by Michael’s side and help him every day.

Michael says, “I mean, he can close doors, open doors, pay for things, pick up things that I need a little assistance with right now.”

Steve Gartman, Michael’s dad, says, “It’s only been a week-and-a-half they’ve been together and they’re inseparable already.”

There’s more . . .


Yellow Lab-Golden Mix Rama on the job

A fetching new friend
By Andrea Brown, The Gazette

His younger siblings have play dates and sleepovers with friends. Not 15-year-old Micah Weishaar. He can’t go to the mailbox unsupervised.

Enter a yellow Lab named Rama. The dog is easing barriers for the nonverbal teen with autism and Down syndrome. “We wanted Micah to have a best friend,” said his father, Marc. “We wanted Rama to be able to fill that void in his life.”

Rama breaks the isolation caused by Micah’s disabilities, said his mother, Dayna.
“A lot of times people won’t approach Micah. They’re afraid, for whatever reason. With Rama, it’s a natural bridge.”

Rama teamed up with Micah three months ago. He came from Canine Companions for Independence, a nonprofit organization based in California that pairs disabled people with dogs at no cost. “The dogs help children with autism stay focused and calm down,” said spokeswoman Karyl Carmignani.

There’s more . . .