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Help sought for service dog’s surgery bill

Willow, a 6-month-old golden retriever, helps Trevor Kluting, 14, with his seizures. She's also training to work with Sitka Mountain Rescue. Willow needs shoulder surgery, and her friends are hoping the community can help. (Photo provided)

Willow, a 6-month-old golden retriever, helps Trevor Kluting, 14, with his seizures. She’s also training to work with Sitka Mountain Rescue. Willow needs shoulder surgery, and her friends are hoping the community can help. (Photo provided)

Willow, a 6-month-old golden retriever, helps a Sitka boy with his seizures and also works for Sitka Mountain Rescue as a search dog. Now, she needs help of her own.

The dog injured her shoulder, and supporters are hoping to raise $3,000 for surgery to fix the damage.

Karen Kluting trains search dogs for Sitka Mountain Rescue. She’s also the mother of 14-year-old Trevor, who experiences seizures on a regular basis. Kluting says her son and Willow have formed a strong bond.

“His seizure disorder is so rare,” Kluting said. “There are only 1,000 in the world. They’re very painful for him. Imagine your body goes paralyzed suddenly on one or both sides. It’s very stressful. She’s a calm dog in that situation and lays next to him and has, on her own, trained herself … the last partial motor seizure he had she slept with him the entire night. Just on her own, self taught.”

Kluting has organized an online fundraiser for Willow’s medical bills, and has already raised nearly half the $3,000 necessary for the dog to get surgery. She’s also holding a bake sale on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Wells Fargo.

She says anything raised beyond the $3,000 goal will be put into the Mountain Rescue canine program.

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