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Mal & Leo Need Your Help for Their HEA!


Um. . . so, this is awkward for me. Just want to put that out there first.

Some of you know, but most of you don’t, that I’ve been working to overcome injuries from a workplace accident that left me disabled over 6 years ago. I fell down the stairs (not something I recommend) and the trauma of falling triggered CRPS (click here for info) and a mild TBI (click here for info) both of which trigger depression, so I have physical, emotional, and neurological disabilities. I’m in graduate school learning a new profession with the hope of remaining self-sufficient. 

When I learned the diagnosis of my disabling condition and that it would be permanent, I set about finding a service dog for myself, being inspired by a classmate at that time. Peter was my faithful working partner for nearly 3 years before he was unexpectedly removed from service by the organization that placed him (and retained legal ownership). I was completely devastated, and began trying to obtain his successor immediately. It’s been well over a year now that I’ve been on several waiting lists.

I traveled to Oregon in February and found an excellent trainer who has 20+ years of experience training service dogs. Her whole paradigm is quite unlike any I’ve ever encountered and we both wanted to work with each other. However, the search for an appropriate candidate dog has taken many months, something I found very discouraging.

The good news is that my candidate dog has been found! His name is Leo, and he’s  wonderful long-haired (rough) collie the trainer considers a perfect match for me – wooo hooooo.

This is where you come in. Obtaining a service dog is an expensive proposition. The dog, training, equipment, team training and all the expenses that come along with traveling and staying in Oregon for 3 weeks really add up. While I’m incredibly lucky that an anonymous benefactor stepped up to cover $8,000 of the approximate $13,000 cost, that still leaves $5,000 I need to raise. (More means I'll get to go meet and visit him during his training period, and that would be so very awesome!)

I have a little less than 6 months to raise what I need. Amazingly, while sorting out all the finer points of how to approach y’all, about $450 has already been donated, and Sebastien Robichaud will be penning an outtake for The Ice Queen and Mr. McCarty that will be sent to every donor!!! How awesome is that?!?

Donations don’t have to be cash, either. I have offers of Hilton and Best Western hotel points/negotiated rates. So if you have some to spare, that would be SO helpful and means just that much less to raise. The 3 hotel chains available are Hilton, Best Western, and Holiday Inn Express. Also, car rental points or negotiated rates would be total win, as would be airline miles – Alaska Airlines is the carrier.

I intend to add blog posts as things progress – more pictures, some videos of his training, updates on how we’re doing money-wise, including a more detailed breakdown of expenses that I will tick off as the funds come in; and then on through team training so you not only know where your money is going, but also the difference you’ve made in my life. 

I know things are tight all over, so if all you can do is spread the word, no worries, that’s very valuable, too! The more, the merrier! Please feel free to pass the link to my blog to anyone at all you think might be interested/willing/available to assist or support in any way. Thank you!

So, look for the donate button at the upper left of this page – just click and follow the instructions. If you have other in-kind type of donations you’d prefer to make, use the contact link above, PM on ffn, or hit me up on Twitter.

I thank you sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, for even reading this appeal,

p.s. If you have any questions about service dogs in general, Leo in particular, me, my injuries, or anything, please post a comment below. I'll be happy to try to address them in upcoming posts.


{ succubus } at: August 21, 2011 at 7:39 PM said...

Leo sounds amazing. I wish you all the luck to get him. Do you have a paypal page so people can make online donations?

{ mostly a lurker } at: August 21, 2011 at 9:02 PM said...

yes, there's a paypal donate button at the top of the left hand column.

↖↖ (just up there) ↖↖

{ adonicass } at: August 21, 2011 at 9:05 PM said...

You are an amazing, brave, talented soul. I am proud to help you achieve your dreams. Leo and Mal belong together

{ mostly a lurker } at: August 21, 2011 at 10:55 PM said...

@adonicass: honestly, i couldn't have done all this without you, bb, and there aren't words enough in the world for my thanks and gratitude. i am humbled by your generosity of spirit, heart, and time. i'm proud and honored to call you friend and will sing your praises from the highest rooftops. mwah, mwah, mwah!

{ Savage } at: September 11, 2011 at 6:57 PM said...

I'm in. I'll write an Offside O/S for this.

{ ms } at: September 14, 2011 at 6:49 PM said...

I've just donated a little amount. I do really hope you can gather the needed amount very soon! Leo sounds great, regards from Mexico.

{ KarenD } at: September 14, 2011 at 7:04 PM said...

Wish it could have been more. Hopefully you and Leo will be together sooner than later. What an amazing dog! A friend of mine has a rough coated collie as a service dog. He is awesome and such a love when he is not working! We all love him to bits and pieces. Best of luck to you both.

{ mostly a lurker } at: September 14, 2011 at 9:42 PM said...

savage, you rock! THANK YOU!

elva & karen, donations received - every dollar counts and i'm SO VERY GRATEFUL for each and every one, thank you!

karen, everything i've heard so far about leo is that he's just a love bug. i'm looking forward to meeting him and having him as my partner more than i can say :-)

{ Lexi } at: September 17, 2011 at 1:55 AM said...

Hi, I just stumbled upon your cause, and I would love to help. I'm not widely known amongst the fandom, but I can try to get your story out there. I also, at this time, don't have any money to donate. And since I'm not a big named author, I doubt many would care for an outtake of mine. But, I'll write one if anyone has interest.

I wish you the best!

Take care,


{ IslandWoman221 } at: September 17, 2011 at 4:57 PM said...

At age 20 I was told I would be blind by 30. Thankfully I found a better doctor and that was averted. But there for quite a stretch I had to consider how my life would change and a big part of that consideration included the possibility of a service dog. I'm more than happy to help out and really applaud everyone for opening their hearts to support you, MAL! HUGS!!!

{ itlnbrt } at: September 17, 2011 at 8:19 PM said...

This is such an incredible story. I have worked with service dogs and actually looked into one for my son that has type 1 diabetes-the dogs detect when their blood sugar is low and save their lives mostly at night. I totally and completely recommend this and support this. I am so excited for you and hope that we can all come together and help you get there. I hope you are able to be a part of Leo's training.. that is the best part! I have goosebumps I am so excited for you!! Congrats!

{ dont_run } at: September 17, 2011 at 8:57 PM said...

If you are looking for more writers to put together a compilation or something I'm more than willing to write a little something for you :0) I'm not well known but I have some very loyal lovable readers who I will let know about your situation. My baby brother (who past a few years ago) was blind so I know how wonderful service dogs are. I'm putting you and Leo in my thoughts and prayers.

Livvie (dontrun on ffn)

{ CharliDenae } at: September 17, 2011 at 9:01 PM said...

What a beauty Leo is!! I'm definitely on board to help out one of our own in the Fandom! I'm on my way to PayPal right now but, if there is anything else I can do... I've passed on the info thru Twitter and FaceBook... I'd be willing to write for a fundraiser... or whatever would help. Let me know!!!

Many blessings!!!
Charli oxox


{ Lexi } at: September 18, 2011 at 4:20 AM said...

Hey! I set up a twibbon via twitter! Go and get yours!

{ HeartThePretty_EvenMore } at: September 18, 2011 at 10:29 PM said...

I hope this little bit helps. Is there somewhere we are supposed to send a copy of the receipt?
Good luck to you and Leo.

{ Nicola } at: September 20, 2011 at 1:30 AM said...

I really do hope (and I'm sure you will) you and Leo get your HEA. And I wish you all the best. It's incredibly brave to be able to so openly ask for help and I admire you hugely for that alone. All the best.


PS. I also wanted to find out if there's somewhere we should send the receipt of the payment for the compilation?

Anonymous at: September 22, 2011 at 11:32 AM said...

I am wishing and hoping that you have Leo by your side very soon, Mal.

And along with everyone else, just wondering where to send the receipt?

{ mostly a lurker } at: September 22, 2011 at 11:03 PM said...

hi everyone!
sorry about not being clear on the receipt piece. i mentioned it in my post of this week, but neglected to stop by here and address it, too.

paypal sends me a notification of each and every donation, so there is no need to send in a copy of your receipt anywhere UNLESS you do not get a thank you e-card in your inbox within 7 days of your donation. in that case, please email me so we can sort it out, k?

thanks everyone for asking and being patient with my steep learning curve in doing all this!


{ SAtlas } at: September 23, 2011 at 5:04 AM said...

I just made a donation to your very worthwhile endeavor. I hope you make your goal, but with your determination and the help of other generous souls, you will!
Wishing you only the best and a future that will bring your dreams to reality.

{ wonderfullybedazzled } at: September 23, 2011 at 9:45 PM said...

Oh Leo is beautiful. I will donate to your HEA! We all deserve that!

{ chrissy } at: October 9, 2011 at 4:21 PM said...

Much love and many warm hugs! I wish my donation could be more.


{ lizconno } at: October 14, 2011 at 6:50 AM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
{ Sus } at: October 15, 2011 at 6:02 PM said...

My last beloved dog was a Collie. They are so wonderful! I hope you and Leo have a long and happy life together. Wish I could do more!

xoMiss Sus

{ latuacantante4him } at: October 17, 2011 at 9:10 PM said...

Made a donation tonight. I hope we can make this happen for you. :)

{ twilightcupcake } at: October 28, 2011 at 12:40 AM said...

MAL I've been away from twi fandom for a while but re read UoEM and ended up here through SR's page. I'm so happy you've found another service dog to help with things. CRPS and TBI suck but it sounds like you've got the strength to get through it :)
I've made my donation and frankly I haven't read the story that SR is writing an outtake for but it didn't matter. Best of luck with your journeys and safe travels.

Jenny - @cupcakegirl76

Anonymous at: October 30, 2011 at 8:25 PM said...

Hi Mal! I'm humbled and honored to get to help you in your endeavor to obtain Leo. He's gorgeous, by the way. Made a donation tonight. Not much, but hope it'll help out some! Good luck, bb :)

{ junebug } at: July 23, 2012 at 6:54 AM said...

I tried writing a few mins ago and lost the post I don't know where it went so I'll try it again. I too am going to hopefully be able to get a dog from leslie I am early in the process and totally overwhelmed at the thought of the costs as well though I am trying to figure out how to get the donations and fundraising as well. so any ideas what I need to do next? any help would be much appreciated as I never have had a service dog before

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