A Teammate for Life

A smiling african american man holds the orange leash of his yellow lab service dog in blue vestAlex Maryman dreamed of playing baseball for the big leagues since childhood. Though he was diagnosed with hearing loss as a toddler, he played baseball every chance he got, eventually joining the club team at Kansas State University.

Despite his prowess on the diamond, Alex experienced anxiety in his everyday life, fearful of missing important sounds.

He found it difficult to relax. Was someone knocking on his door? Did he miss an important phone call? Alex started to stay home where life was safer and more familiar, leaving behind his typically outgoing personality. His mother worried about his isolation and waning involvement with others. She discovered Canine Companions and the service dogs expertly trained to alert deaf or hard of hearing handlers to important sounds.

Since receiving Service Dog Prince in 2021, Alex feels more confident and ready to take on the day. Prince wakes him up every morning with a nudge when the alarm clock sounds. When someone comes to his front door or pulls into his driveway, Prince alerts him.

Today, Alex’s family can relax knowing that he and Prince are ready for anything. “The level of confidence and reassurance I feel with Prince is so impactful,” says Alex.

Alex no longer stays away from the sport he is so passionate about. With Prince by his side, he doesn’t miss a beat, on or off the field. With his outgoing personality restored, Alex hopes to share his love of the game by coaching young athletes and encouraging them to do what they love, even if it means getting out of their comfort zone.