Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Little Angel Help

This is a hard blog to write because I don't like asking for help; but before you crumble this paper up and play wastebasket basketball, please take a few minutes to read it (jokes on you because this is on the screen and if you really want to crumble it up your going to have to shell out money for a new computer, so just read it). 
Even though comedy is my profession, this blog and my request are not a joke.

Perhaps this will come as a shock to you, but a few years ago I was diagnosed with clinical depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). You know what clinical depression is, but perhaps PTSD is a mystery. Sure, we see it on the news that our military has been coming back from war with it for years. It is also called “shell shock.” People are often described as having a “thousand-mile stare.” But it's not just soldiers who get it, comedians do too (really, anyone can). I was reluctant to share my challenges with many people, but now I need your help.
At times I am unable to leave the house because of all that comes with clinical depression and PTSD. You can imagine how these challenges can be a hindrance for someone who travels full time as a stand-up comedian. This letter is my way of letting more people know about my daily struggles and also an opportunity for me to ask for your help (which, again, is something that I hate doing!).
Recently, I discovered a company in the San Diego area that trains service dogs for people with PTSD and other physical and psycho-social challenges. Little Angels Service Dogs has an approval process, and I have been approved to receive one of these very special dogs! The dogs are typically Labradors that have been bred for this work. They are trained in foster homes from the moment they are weaned. The foster families do a fantastic job of getting these pups used to unusual circumstances at an early age. Once the dogs are mature enough, they are brought back to the training facility for specialized training. When all is said and done, the dog will have received more than 600 hours of training. In my case, training for my dog would include advanced obedience for public access, as well as deep pressure therapy, boundary control, and initial alert training. Included is additional training with me to help me deal with panic attacks, flashbacks and nightmares. This means that my dog would be able to interrupt my panic attacks,flashbacks and nightmares.
It will be such a relief to have this type of support at home and on the road. Little Angels Service Dogs is a non-profit agency, and every dog it provides is paid for by tax-deductible donations. The expense of training a dog so skilled is high, so people like me (who will use the dogs), as well as many others, work as volunteers to help raise some of these funds. As a recipient of a dog I will make a commitment for the duration of the dog’s life, and will be required to check in routinely with Little Angels Service Dogs to monitor the animal’s performance and the impact on the quality of life for the human companion (that’s me). 
The faster I meet my fundraising goal, the more quickly I can bring my service dog home.
This is the part where I ask for your help. My goal is to raise $10,000. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to Little Angels Service Dogs on my behalf. Any amount is appreciated and will bring me closer to my goal.
If you have any questions about the program or anything else, please give me a call. There is also really great information on the Little Angels Service Dogs website. I cannot thank you enough for your consideration of my request!

You can send donations in check form to:
Little Angels Service Dogs
Little Angels Service Dogs
PO Box 219
Jamul, CA 91935
Your check should be written out to “Little Angels Service Dogs,” and the Memo for the check should read "PSDA1"
Little Angels Service Dogs is a 501c3 organization. Tax ID # 27-3515067
Thank you again for your help! I will keep all donors up-to-date about my dog. I cannot do this without you.