The Griffith family of Sturgis is looking for a versatile service dog for their daughter Harmony.
Harmony, 14, struggles with multiple diagnoses including childhood apraxia of speech, mood dysregulation disorder, intellectual retardation, ADHD and expressive and receptive language disorder. The dog would help him fight these diagnoses and improve his quality of life.
Hope in a service dog
Harmony is one of three children and lives at home with her parents Jason and Haruka Griffith. Harmony’s family hopes a service dog will help Harmony regulate her moods, bridge the social gap between her and her peers, and redirect her behaviors. The dog would be his new best friend and greatest companion.
Haruka said Harmony has always loved dogs. According to Jason, it was Harmony’s reaction to a classmate’s service dog that spurred her desire to have one of her own. Right now, the dog’s greatest function would be to help with mood dysregulation, he said.
How the community can help
Harmony will receive a service dog from 4 Paws for Ability of Ohio. The average cost to raise, train and place a service dog is $50,000. Jason said the dog will be trained based on Harmony’s specific needs. Harmony’s family is raising $17,000 to help with this cost.
The family has been creative so far in their fundraising efforts. A fundraising event is scheduled for 2 p.m. June 5 at Three Rivers Eagles that will include a bouncy house, prize spinning reel, raffles and more. Haruka sold candy boxes to family and friends on Facebook and a fundraising jar went out to Harmony’s school, Sturgis Middle School, which also lent her support. The response has been pretty good so far, the family said. They have raised approximately $3,000 since the beginning of March for the cause.
The Griffith family would like to thank everyone who has had the good fortune to donate so far. Haruka said old friends and even college professors she hadn’t seen in years contributed. The family hopes to reach the goal soon.
“Harmony is thrilled,” Jason said. “We tell her every day how everyone is coming together to open their hearts to help her have a better life. I think Harmony understands this is a big deal and it’s kind of nice for everyone to come support her.
To help Harmony receive her life-changing service dog, credit card gifts can be made by going to: https://www.4pawsforability.org/dreams/harmony-griffith/.
To donate by check, please make a check payable to 4 Paws for Ability and write on the check memo line – Harmony Griffith and mail to: 4 Paws for Ability, 207 Dayton Ave. Xenia, Ohio, 45385