My name is Clara and I am a second year medical student of Charles University. I grew up in a small town in the south of Brazil and as I graduated from high school I went to the USA for 3 years.
Accustomed to being primarily around my family and my father’s farm, I grew up surround by lots of animals and love. I have always been a very happy, social and energetic child.
Unfortunately, after a tragic and violent assault during the beginning of my high school time, I began to isolate myself from friends and also to suffer from severe anxiety disorders accompanied by frequent panic attacks. At this time, I began to see all types of doctors and psychologist, but what helped me most was to surround myself with my pets. My horses, cats and dogs were always my best friends and whom I would run to in case of a crises. One of my dogs, an adorable female golden retriever called “Mel”, was specially important for me.
As my panic attacks were getting more frequent and the medications were not working or were giving me bad side effects one of my doctors suggested that I can find a trainer who can train “Mel” to help me in this events. The idea was great, but to find someone to professionally train my dog was challenging given that I lived in a small town in Brazil. We searched and searched but nothing was successful. That was when we decided that we would have a normal trainer teach “Mel” how to help me with my anxiety and panic attacks. “Mel” then became my companionship for all times and adventures. Unfortunately, in January 2018 the sky shined brighter as my “Mel”, at the time 12 years old, passed away. From that time on I started having problems getting out of my home again, and my panic attacks began to be a obstacle to my daily routine.
As a medical student, I am always under a lot of stress and under a very rigorous routine. Being alone in a foreign country and without my “Mel” was too hard for me to handle. That is when I decided to start searching for service dogs in the Czech Republic. However, another obstacle occurred: I was not fluent in czech and thus most organizations couldn’t provide me with a dog. As time passed and my anxiety level increased, I decided to get a dog myself. That is when I meet “Joy”, my now 11 month old golden retriever.
Joy and I are inseparable. We travel together, we sleep together and we have fun together. She is my support system in both my happy and sad moments. She is the best friend that I get to tell all about my day once I get home. Nonetheless, Joy isn’t trained yet to help me with my panic attacks and she also cannot accompany me wherever I need.
Around September 2019 I was lucky enough to be put in contact with “Pes Pro Tebe” which was willing to train Joy in english for me. This news made me extremely excited and happy because I know that soon I would be able to attend my regular classes and have my regular routine back. I know that I soon would be able to have Joy help me just the way that Mel did for so many years.
I am aware that it is hard to help a stranger, even more when it comes to a person who has come from the other side of the world, but I believe that with your help I will be able to raise the funds needed to carry out Joy’s training.
Yours sincerely Clara & Joy
To Help Clara fund the remainder of Joy’s guide dog training please visit their website HERE to make a donation.