Four-legged companion is giving freedom to a Waverly family - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Four-legged companion is giving freedom to a Waverly family

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WAVERLY (KWWL) -- An Eastern Iowa family is seeking a four-legged solution to a life-changing challenge. Tyler and Toby Resor are two typical little guys -- with a lot of energy. But the brothers also face two very distinct medical conditions.

Toby's brain works differently than other seven year olds.

"He has Aspergers, which is a very high-functioning form of autism," said their mother, Katie Resor.

Meanwhile, six-year-old Tyler deals with a physical challenge -- for him, a common kid-friendly food is life-threatening. He has an anaphylactic allergy to peanuts.  Since doctors diagnosed Tyler in 2006, the Resors have learned to avoid anything peanut-related.

But while it's easy to swap out a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich for a grilled cheese at home, Tyler's allergy prevents them from going anywhere they're not certain is safe.

"How is he going to grow up? How is someone not going to give him something that could potentially kill him very quickly?" Katie questioned.

The Resors believe they've found a solution to help both kids -- a group called "Angel Service Dogs." They're currently training a four-legged companion for the brothers, who specializes in sniffing out allergens.

"The primary purpose for the dog will be the peanut situation. That's going to open up so much for our family. We'll be able to go to safe places. We'll be able to then get Toby into the social situations he needs. That's where the autism comes in," said Katie.

Their future dog, Dotty, will complete her training in October. And the Resors are already planning their first vacation in five years.

"We're able to finally see a light at the end of the tunnel! I got on the website for Mall of America, and said, look at this! We can go to Legoland! Look at this stuff! So we'll have to start exploring what we've been missing for five years now," Katie added.

The service dog comes with a price -- it costs $20,000 for the non-profit group to train each puppy. That's significantly less than the $45,000 other groups were asking. For them, the freedom to go out in public is invaluable.

"Angel Service Dogs" is a non-profit group, which means, any donations you make are tax-deductible. Click here for information on how to help the Resors and other families.

You can also send a donation to Angel Service Dogs Inc., 3815 Highview Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80908.  If you would like to make your donation go toward the Resors' future dog, please indicate the name "Dotty" on the check or in your online submission.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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