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meet paragon

celebrating teams

Ruth and Service Dog Greyson

Meet Paragon

Team Triumphs

Hearing Dog Team Chad & Harmony

Hearing Dog Team Chad & Harmony

Chad is an active-duty National Guard service member and also a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom II and Operation Enduring Freedom.

His hearing loss is attributed to military combat and training operations while serving his country. He has been involved stateside in responding to natural disasters and overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan. Once his tours ended, he returned home and found difficulties adjusting to his hearing loss.

"I always worry that something is happening and I won’t hear it or be able to respond in time. I found IHDI and filled out the information. Within a week I received a response from Valerie, and she took the time to help me understand how a hearing dog could assist me in my life and also how the program works. I have difficulties expressing the struggles I have with my disability, and Valerie and the rest of the team created an environment where I could share and not feel lesser about it. I think this is why the program is such a success.”

Chad only lives a couple of miles from the facility and has visited on multiple occasions. This is where he first met Harmony and the staff.

Harmony is a gentle and sweet Borzoi mix who is full of life. She loves meeting new people and is a talented Hearing Dog.

“The staff at IHDI are so in touch with the dogs they have and really take time to find out what needs the folks have that come to them for help,” Chad said. “I felt instantly welcomed, and that gave me hope and confidence that this close knit team of caring professionals would be able to help me bridge the gap between my life and disability.”

Harmony was placed with Chad and the two of them are working great together. Chad presented our staff with a flag and plaque that read “My deepest thanks and appreciation for providing me with Harmony as a friend, helper, and healer.”

We knew that Harmony would be much more than a Hearing Dog to Chad. She has provided him with comfort, confidence, and love. “When [trainers] Andrea and Jaime came to my home with Harmony, they really showed how much passion they had for the program,” Chad recalls. “They gave Harmony and me great training together and also gave me the confidence to work with Harmony so we can continue to bond and work together.”