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 Once upon a time, there was a puppy named Minnie.  Minnie was born in Great Falls, Montana.  Minnie was four months old and had watched all the other puppies in her litter one by one go to their “forever” homes, but not Minnie.  Minnie was starting to wonder if she would ever find her “person.”  Then on May 1, 2013, Minnie met Carter and instantly Minnie knew that Carter was her “person.”  When Carter first saw Minnie he smiled a smile bigger than any smile Minnie had ever seen.  Carter walked a little slow because of the bright green cast on his leg, but Minnie didn’t mind, she wasn’t in a hurry.


In August 2013 Emily swam Canyon Ferry Lake in Helena, MT for Carter's Cause.  3 year old Carter was in need of a service dog to assist him The swim was a 70-mile swim attempt, however conditions resulted in Emily being pulled from the water at right around the 24 hour mark.  Despite the fact that the swim fell short of Emily's athletic goal of 70-miles (total mileage around 34 miles), the swim was a very successful fundraiser and to date, $10,200 has been raised for Carter.


All funds for raised for Carter will go directly to expenses related to Carter's service dog Minnie.  Fundraising is ongoing.


To donate to Carter's Cause, click here: 



Carter was born with a number of differed respiratory issues and has been diagnosed with severe tracheomalacia (which means the cartilage that compromises his trachea is characterized by a flaccidity that causes it to completely close when he breaths or coughs); bronchial malacia (essentially, his bronchial tubes do the same thing); the airways close leading to his lungs; his left lung is collapsed; he has asthma; severe reflux, known as GERD; he requires a feeding tube because for some yet unknown reason, any liquids he takes orally cause his lungs to fill with fluid and he sleeps with oxygen at night.  Carter is steroid dependent, which has a host of side effects.  Carter has been hospitalized close to 50 times and often travels from his home in Helena to Denver Children's hospital for specialist appointments, surgerieis and bone infusion treatments.

Because Carter is dependent on steroids and so much of the focus of his body's early development was on adapting to his respiratory issues, his physical development was and continues to be delayed. His muscles are weak and he lacks endurance. One side of Carter's body is weaker than the other side and tires easily. He has learned to adapt, by dragging that side of his body when the fatigue occurs, but that adaptation also causes him to fall more often and lack overall coordination. The doctors do not know whether the source of his issues may be neurological (theories include a stroke either during pregnancy or shortly after birth).

Carter's service dog, Minnie, assists Carter with his mobility and also calms Carter during his procedures and examinations (due to his frequent hospital visits, Carter has anxiety attacks when nearing the hospital with questions whether he is going to be poked).

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