Summit in Sixty Seconds January, 2017
2007 graduate looking for successor dog
Louise Zimmerman of Bellingham was paired with mobility service dog Bailey in 2007, and she says, “he has been the wonder of my existence”.
At 11 years old, Bailey is still working, but it’s time for him to have a well-deserved retirement. And Louise’s husband Seth is looking forward to Bailey’s retirement so he can become the family pet and spend more time with Seth.
"He is an incredible, reassuring presence, but he also has a sense of humor,” Louise said. “He’s the perfect service dog in public and a lunatic at home. His antics always make us laugh.”
Louise has a rare form of Multiple Sclerosis that makes her especially susceptible to falling. If she falls, Bailey stays by her side while she assesses whether or not she’s hurt, and he can get the phone or another person if she isn’t able to get up on her own.
The Zimmermans have a step down into their living room, so with the help of “the wonderful people at Summit,” Bailey was taught to guide her as she steps down and to act as her bannister since there’s no railing.
Louise said Bailey is dealing with stiffness and it’s harder for him to get up, “just like the rest of us as we get older”. But he’s still eager and happy to work once he’s on his feet.
Louise really wants another dog, because she knows what an incredible difference it has made in her life. Bailey has helped her get out and be involved in her community in ways she wouldn’t have been able to do by herself. “It feels like someone always has your back," she said.
But she also has mixed feelings, worrying that Bailey will see the new dog as competition. She hopes the new dog will learn from Bailey. “I want him to become a wise mentor, not a competitor.”
A former teacher, Louise stays involved with young people, taking Bailey to schools for children-reading-to-dogs programs, because he’s a natural with kids.
Property milestone reached Dec. 2
After more than a year of hard work, Summit’s site plan application for its Whidbey Island property was submitted to Island County on Dec. 2 and accepted as complete. A public comment period is open until Jan. 11. After this, a 120-day review period will begin, with reviews by many entities, including all involved county departments, state and local governments, environmental groups and neighbors. A hearing is planned to be held in April before an examiner, who will make final decisions on the conditions of approval. We’re excited to get moving forward after April with final building design and construction plans and to begin site work to prepare for construction.
Make a New Year’s resolution that’s good for you and for Summit
If your goal is to walk more to get in shape in this New Year, then it’s time to step out right and take your Walk for a Dog!
With the free app “Walk for a Dog” through Wooftrax you can help raise funds for Summit just by walking. The more active walkers that have selected Summit Assistance Dogs as their charity of choice, the greater the donation to Summit. Use the app each time you reach for the leash. It’s healthy for you, your dog and us. Don’t have a dog? Walk for us anyway. It will still count.
It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.
Every Walk for a Dog counts, whether it's a walk around the block or a three-mile hike, so please join us now. Let’s see if we can reach at least 700 active walkers for Summit! Increase your impact by sharing the app with your friends and family.
- Go to Wooftrax.com and download the app.
- Follow the app’s set-up instructions to get started, and select Summit from the Washington list.
- Start walking!