A Thankful Thanksgiving – Lauren & Annie


As a mom of 2, Heather reached out to W.A.G.S. 4 Kids in 2013 with one wish – a Service Dog for her daughter Lauren. At 5 years old, Lauren was diagnosed with a severe and profound hearing impairment. (Read More)

“As you may guess I was concerned for my daughter being alerted to things of course but there is little to no hope of getting a hearing dog for a child under 14. I also noticed because of her lack of hearing her lanuage and communication suffered making her withdraw from others, even me. It broke my heart. I wanted my child to have someone to talk to or read to without judgement, a safe secure place to practice without fear of correction. Also I wanted a friend for Lauren a steady perminent friend one that could always be there. One that could help her find her glasses, or her cochlears and help her gain confidence and if Lauren didn’t look to me for this because I corrected her speech well then I thought how about a service dog. And I found W.A.G.S. 4 Kids online.”

Hopefully one day, the novelty of kindness will wear off and be the norm. For now, it is the kindness of strangers that Lauren and her family were overwhelmed with. Children across Northeast Ohio eagerly participated in “Coins for Kids” campaigns – filling jars with spare change and in the process, learning an invaluable lesson. The real change wasn’t what was in the jars, but what it took to fill them; character, tenacity, thoughtfulness. These kids had fun! The smiles and laughter continued at the Trinity Rose Foundation’s Bowling For Blindness event to help Lauren reach her family’s fundraising goals in one fell swoop!

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In less than 6 months, Annie has helped Lauren with so many things. Waking up every day was a fight. “Daily arguments I have with Lauren are smaller. Lauren is not a morning person so every morning it was a half hour fight to get her out of bed then it was a stubborn child fighting everything from getting dressed to eating breakfast. Then Annie came and gives Lauren a nudge in the morning and a kiss. Lauren pops up knowing she has to feed Annie. No more fighting. Lauren has sensory issues as well and hair brushing was always a wrestling match in my house. Again, Annie to the rescue. I brush Lauren’s hair and she brushes Annie. Annie has also found and brought Lauren her cochlears and glasses many times.”


“The process is tough and sometimes you feel helpless and hopeless but all W.A.G.S family surround you and get you back on track. They help you get over humps, they make it as easy as they can.

Lisa and Wendy both have been driven crazy with my questions on how to get Annie to do xy and z and never once did they make me feel stupid they always answered me quickly and asked if I needed any more help.”

The magic has just begun with these two girls…Lauren was born to sparkle. Now she shines brighter than before. Annie never leaves her side.

This Thankful Thanksgiving, you have the power to change one life today and every day. Fast Fact: Just $1 a month will provide food for a month to a future Service Dog like Annie, destined to forever change the life of a child with special needs in your community. Take the Pledge!

Check back next Thursday for another edition of “A Thankful Thanksgiving”…

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