In 2011, Emily Hunt found herself navigating busy college life at Ball State University (BSU). It was during these years that she first noticed an Indiana Canine Assistant Network (ICAN) dog on campus. The vest caught her eye, and she took note of the nonprofit’s name.
And while she decided to wait to apply for a dog of her own until after graduating college, she never stopped thinking about how much a service dog could help her.
That’s because Emily is living with a spinal chord injury that has paralyzed her from the chest down. And due to her diagnosis, she needs extra support to lead a more independent life.
Seeing the ICAN dog made her hopeful for her future and dream of what an ICAN dog could do for her.
So, Emily stuck with her plan. When she graduated from BSU and felt more prepared to welcome a dog into her life, she applied for an ICAN service dog. Finally, in 2021, she got a call from ICAN that they had a potential match for her. She met a few different dogs, but a yellow Labrador named Toffee stole her heart.
As fate would have it, the pair were matched shortly after their initial meeting.
“Toffee quickly integrated into my life,” Emily said. “Her transition into my day-to-day routine was seamless. It was amazing!”
Toffee was trained to complete tasks for Emily like picking up dropped items, pushing automatic door buttons, and turning lights on and off.
“I’m so grateful to be matched with Toffee. She is the perfect fit for my life. She gives me purpose,” said Emily.
You can help clients like Emily find independence again. Learn more at icandog.org.