Since being paired with her client Kendall Spilker in 2014, ICAN Clare has spent every day unleashing his independence.
And according to his mom, Renee, from the moment they met, it was clear they were meant to be.
“Kendall is extremely friendly, so Clare immediately became his social bridge,” Renee said. “But she also gave Kendall the confidence he needed to try new things.”
When first paired together, Clare taught Kendall responsibility, as he cared for her with his mom’s help and direction.
“I was so pleased at how quickly they adapted to each other,” Renee remembered.
Clare also helps Kendall live an active lifestyle. Renee said the two have racked up many miles together – from walking and hiking to paddleboarding and kayaking.
But their adventures don’t stop there.
Clare has even taken a trip to Disney World with Kendall. And while Kendall was posing for pictures with his favorite Disney characters or navigating through busy crowds, Clare was by his side through it all.
Renee said that Disney caters to people with disabilities and service animals, and that they even have dozens of designated service animal relief areas in the parks. This also meant that Clare was allowed to ride along with Kendall on many of the smaller rides, making the experience stress-free and enjoyable.
While Clare is paired with Kendall to increase his independence, she also helps Renee to have peace of mind.
Before Clare, Renee’s biggest fear was that she would look up and suddenly find that Kendall had wandered away. Renee was brought to tears when she learned that Clare could be trained to find Kendall.
“It’s difficult to understand things that are unfamiliar, and while someone may not understand Kendall’s disability, most people can relate to a dog,” said Renee. “Clare helps people see beyond Kendall’s disability, and for that I am forever grateful.”
You too can help Hoosiers like Kendall find independence. Learn more at icandog.org.