Family raising money for service dog - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Family raising money for service dog

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by Danielle Wagner

WATERLOO (KWWL) Julian is 16 years old, and he loves dogs. When he was just three months old, Julian suffered a traumatic brain injury from being shaken.

"So sight, different cognitive functions were impacted. Julian does have a level of MR, mental retardation," said Mom Leah Morrison.

Each Saturday, Julian comes to one of the Exceptional Persons locations and spends time with dogs from P.E.T. P.A.L.S.

But it's time to get Julian his own dog. His family needs to raise $13,000 for a service dog from 4 Paws for Abilities.

Once the money is raised, Julian's family will put together a video documentary to train the service dog.

"Trainers customize the dog over six to nine months for Julian specifically," said Morrison.

Julian's mom said he loves being busy, but as part of his disabilities, he worries and suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder.

"Even things he enjoys can stress him out. I think about something exciting like going to Adventureland, he's going to worry about it for days and bite his fingers. Very stressful, even though exciting and happy," said Leah Morrison.

The service dog should help with his stress.

"We'll give the dog a command and the dog will distract him. that might be putting a paw on Julian's lap or nuzzling him. The dog will know to disrupt the behavior," said Morrison.

Leah Morrison said she can't even imagine how a service dog will impact Julian's life. She's looking forward to seeing more positive changes in her teenage son.

You can help raise money for Julian's service dog at two upcoming events. The first is a motorcycle poker run on Saturday, July 31.

You can just show up at Lone Star in Waterloo between 10 and 11 a.m. The entire ride is 93 miles, ending at Vic's Lounge in Waterloo with a dinner at 6 p.m.

The next event is Saturday, September 11th. It's a four-person, best shot golf tournament at the Jesup Golf and Country Club. The cost is $140 per team. A benefit dinner and auction follows the tournament.

For more information on both events, visit www.julianunleashed.com.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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