In West Jordan, Utah, 10-year-old Carter Veldevere is excited. In about a year, Carter will be getting his very own service dog, thanks to the generosity of the folks at Milk Bone and Smith’s Food and Drug Stores. When he was just 14 months old, Carter was diagnosed spinal muscular atrophy type II, a degenerative disease the gradually shuts down on the muscles in his body.
Carter has been on a waiting list for four years with Canine Assistants, a non profit group that trains service dogs. Carter and his school friends celebrated on Tuesday when they found out that Milk Bone and Smith’s will cover the cost of Carter’s service dog.
“I’m very excited for my dog,” Carter said. “It’ll be a great dog, and I can’t wait to get it.”
Canine Assistants trains only golden retrievers, black and yellow labs, and golden retievers/standard poodle mixes. In about a year, Carter and his family will travel to Georgia to meet and train with his service dog. The dog will help Carter pick up things that are out of Carter’s reach, open doors, and the myriad of other tasks they’ve been trained to do.
“They become a person’s best friend. They’re a forever friend,” explained, Lynn Engum, Canine Assistants representative said.