Elijah is 14 years old and in the 8th grade at King Philip Middle School in Norfolk, MA. He has many strengths such as a great sense of humor but is socially withdrawn. A social dog would give him confidence to meet new challenges in his daily life.
His family wants an assistance dog for Elijah "to help Elijah get out of the house (literally), to help him socially, to develop confidence and self esteem, to give him outdoor exercise and fresh air, to help all of our family who has suffered stuck inside, to help him feel secure in his room at night, to help him believe he can have skills to help take care of an animal (thus he can take care of himself), to help with his motivation, to help him be happier (his best friend moved at age 5 and Elijah has withdrawn socially for so long...he was afraid to replace his previous best friend so rejected new friends...he is just now ready to maybe work at making friends but his self-esteem is low on this)...to help Elijah have fun and be happier. Elijah has great compassion for living beings: he insists bugs, bacteria, all living things be respected. He does not think it is okay to "own" animals and would very much respect his dog."