“We Had Never Seen Her So Free”
Jubilee Schmid was born an orphaned female in China with enormous health problems.
But Jubilee was lucky because Erika Schmid and her husband Peter adopted her when she was five-years old. When she arrived at her new home in the United States, Jubilee was the size of an 18-month-old. Her health problems were bad, but they were about to get far worse.
“We thought she just had a club foot,” said Erika, a mother of five living in Howe’s Cave, a small mountain town in New York. “But we found out it was far worse than that, it was neurological.”
Since that diagnosis nine years ago, Jubilee has had numerous spinal cord surgeries, amputations of her right ankle and knee, major reconstructive surgery on her right leg and hip dysplasia and other problems with her left leg.
The youngest of five Schmid children, Jubilee has watched her siblings live active lifestyles, while she is a high fall risk trapped by her physical limitations.
“While her body is so damaged, her brain is that of a normal kid of her age,” Erika said. “We have always wanted her to enjoy some of the freedom and fun her siblings have had, so we started looking into service dogs.”
It was about a year ago when she found Amazing Tails.
“The folks at Amazing Tails made us feel incredibly at home,” she said.
Then came the moment when Jubilee first tried to walk with a service dog. The result was a moment Erika will never forget.
“It was the first time she was able to walk on her own,” Erika said while choking back tears. “She was also able to walk up and down a flight of stairs by herself for the first time. We couldn’t believe a dog could be trained to help this way. We had never seen her so free.”
With such a large family, the Schmids cannot afford the cost of a service dog on their own. The family has started raising money in many ways including a music fundraiser with their oldest daughter, who is a concert pianist.
“We have strong ties in our community and will be starting to raise money this summer,” Erika said. “Anything we raise beyond what we need will be donated to Amazing Tails, so others may be helped the way we are.”
Like many, the Schmids are on a waiting list, waiting for Amazing Tails to identify the right dog. At that point, it will take about a year of training.
“Jubilee is so happy and excited for the future,” she said. “We can’t wait to see what she can accomplish with the help of her service dog.”
If you are fortunate enough to live life with few health issues beyond the occasional cold or pulled muscle, it’s difficult to understand how close you are to losing all independence due to an unforeseen illness or injury.
For millions of people with significant health problems, the simplest tasks are ordeals. Every step, every movement, every choice must be considered with the utmost care and caution.
For many people, a service dog is the link to living a better, safer, more independent life.
That’s where Amazing Tails, LLC comes in.
Since 1999, Amazing Tails has been identifying and training dogs that perform life saving services for their human partners.
These dogs help people walk with stability. They open doors for people using wheelchairs. They warn those with hearing problems that fire alarms are wailing. They alert those who suffer from seizures that one is coming, minutes before it does.
They bring independence and security to people’s lives in a way that nothing else can.
Amazing Tails does this at a minimum of cost for those who need help the most, but who can usually afford it the least.
These amazing animals are expensive, costing more than $10,000 per dog, including identification, extensive customized training and top care.
Please donate to Amazing Tails to help Jubilee and many children in similar circumstances.
Thank you for your support.