The Story

Hi, my name is Miriam Richard, and I along with several others are writing a book called Dogs In Vests that is due out May 2018. The book is about the successful methods I've used for training Mazie to detect Phoebe's low blood sugar for her diagnosed Rapid Onset Hypoglycemia. Mazie is being trained specifically for the Ladewig family's youngest daughter, Phoebe. Phoebe suffers from multiple rare genetic condition (FPIES "Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome", Intestinal Failure, Anemia of Chronic Disease, Anaphylaxis, Ehlers Danlos Type 3, Asthma, Migraines/Intestinal Migraines, TPN Dependent) which requires 24/7 care. The costs associated are financially and physically draining leaving the family "medically poor". Keeping Phoebe alive consists of frequent trips to the doctor, blood work every Monday, expensive medication, and a special TPN IV formula of food. Phoebe's father works in the military, and has been assigned a year long mission away, leaving Jennifer (the mother) to tend to all five of the six children still residing at home. They're also home schooling the younger three kids, each of whom suffer from similar medical conditions like Phoebe's. 

Once I heard this family's story, I was touched spiritually, and felt compelled to help them in anyway I can. Being a mother with a child that was diagnosed with only one child with a severe medical condition, my heart goes out Jennifer and I empathize with the unique struggles she has. This is why I have invested my time, loving care, and research into training Mazie, a service dog that Helping Hands agreed to fund for the first year of care. The ultimate goal is to serve the family and add joy while also checking Phoebe for low blood sugar during the day and especially throughout the night so she may live a long and prosperous life. My background is in dog training and I have learned a great deal more through training my Labradoodle, Stella, to recognize starch in foods. This was done for a family member who must avoid grains, since complications from exposure to them can land him in the emergency room. 

It has been an amazing opportunity to leverage our experience training service dogs not only to help this family, but also offer hope and insights to those following our movement. The proceeds of Dogs in Vests as well as the donations to Helping Hands will go to next year's expenses such as dog food, veterinary visits, grooming, general dog care and any extra professional training that Mazie may require to be of optimal service to the family. Thank you for taking the time to hear us out. We hope we inspire and encourage you to try our solution or help us share ours with the world!

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Mazie First Alert

Mazie had a live alert at Phoebe's dance class. Phoebe is next to her double checking to see if Mazie is right. 

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Mazie's First     Haircut

Miriam holding Mazie after getting groomed at Billy Bones for the first time in Dallas, Texas. 


Our Progress 

This video shows the early stages of Mazie training with Phoebe to detect symptoms of low blood sugar.  


How we found the Labs? 

We were blessed to find two wonderful Labradoodle's (Stella and Mazie) that were bred by the Novacek Family. If you want to learn more click the link below.

Novacek Family Labradoodle's Facebook Group


Our Team

Victor Fadool:

Has a passion to be helpful to people especially the families God brings into his life. When this project was presented to him he had recently adopted Malachi, which he then realized, has provided emotional support in more ways than he can admit sometimes. As a dog lover, Victor has had the time and ability to train, his own dog and understands how much of an impact just the simple love of a dog can have on someones life. Thus, combining his love for film, his close friends production of two incredible documentaries, as well as his lifelong passion for writing, and dogs, this project is held dear to his heart. 

Ilester Little:

Has been involved with this project and felt compelled to join the project, because of his love of dogs and the Ladewig family's story. He has been actively filming, editing, training and helping putting together our website in hopes of changing the life of little Phoebe.

Richard Family (Mike, Miriam, Jamie, Mason and Katelyn):

The whole Richard Family has been highly involved with this project. Mike and Miriam Richard have been overseeing and coordinating all the pieces for this project. Their children (Katelyn, Mason, Jamie) have been there every step of the way whether that be - filming, training, producing music, or organizing information for the book and dogumentary (Due out next summer). The wife, Miriam is the glue to this project as well as training Mazie to check and alert Phoebe when her blood sugar is low.

Valerie Fry: 

Owner and trainer at Canine Solutions Dallas and the trainer who has helped Miriam and Stella start training for the service dog work with nose games and skills needed to pass the good canine citizen test. She has shared invaluable knowledge and helped to educate Miriam about all the service dog laws and the need for more owner trained service dogs as they are better teams in the long run.  She has been a back up resource for training Mazie and has provided a deeper understanding of how dogs think.

Paul DeFoe:

Paul is the sound and technical specialist who has helped organize and keep the audio visual project on track. 

Ethan Koellner, Rowan Hegarty, Harrison Scott, Jonathan Koellner, Nic James, Michael Hylkema, and James Brown:

High school students who helped with filming, editing, and outings in return for service hours.

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” ( Ralph Waldo Emerson )