Down payment placed on peanut dog

A 7-year-old Oak Harbor boy with a life-threatening allergy is one step closer to obtaining a service dog which would keep him safe at school.

Last week, Logan Gonzales’ family put a $3,000 down payment on a peanut-sniffing dog after community donations poured in.

Logan is a student at Crescent Harbor Elementary School and was diagnosed with a severe peanut allergy as a baby. Exposure to even small traces of peanuts, including on someone’s hands or breath, triggers an allergic reaction and may send him into anaphylactic shock.

In the last few months, Logan was hospitalized four times during the school day.

Unable to be desensitized by gradual exposure to peanuts, his doctors began looking at even newer alternatives.

From an online search, Logan’s family discovered a woman in Texas who trains drug, bomb and peanut-sniffing dogs. They discovered peanut dogs can detect microscopic amounts of peanuts and will alert their owners to danger.

The price of the dog is $12,000, but the first hurdle was the down payment. Seven out of the 12 service dogs trained this year were reserved, and the family needed $3,000.

Parents Judie and Derrick Gonzales spoke to media organizations across the state to discuss Logan’s need. What they found was overwhelming local support.

“It made me cry,” Judie said. The Whidbey News-Times printed a feature story on Logan’s situation on May 2.

Judie received a call last week from Dr. Eric Anderson of the Best Friends Veterinary Center in Oak Harbor, who offered free, lifetime vet service for the peanut dog.

“We recognize how important dogs are to people, especially in this case,” Anderson said. “We hope things go well for him.”

The North Whidbey Firefighters Association called Judie to say that this year’s annual spaghetti fundraiser will be in Logan’s honor.

“That was amazing. Amazing,” Judie said.

Erica Schumacher, a local woman who has fundraised for the family from the beginning, said the $3,300 donation from the Oak Harbor Lion’s Club topped off the down payment.

She also received another surprise call from a producer, who heard about Logan’s allergy.

“The Today Show called and they’re interested in doing a story,” Schumacher said.

The family is continuing to collect donations and hopes to have a peanut dog for Logan within the next year.

People can make a contribution at Whidbey Island Bank under “Logan’s Peanut Dog Fund.”

The family is also holding a benefit dinner at Angelo’s Cafe in Pioneer Way in downtown Oak Harbor Saturday, May 30, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the Coffee Dock, Indulge Spas and Salon or Angelo’s Cafe.

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