WINCHESTER, Va. (WHSV) – A Winchester family started a dog dessert business to help their son cope with his mental health issue and become more independent.
Keygan Mullineaux began hearing voices in his head when he was 15, and his family soon learned he had developed schizoaffective disorder.
“Keygan made two suicide attempts. The latest one was in April and he was part of a Crisis Stabilization Unit, and he was there until his 17th birthday, which is April 9 to June 3, ”said Kelly Dodson, Keygan’s mother.
Schizoaffective disorder is a relatively rare chronic condition that can trigger hallucinations, mania, delusions, and depression.
After his suicide attempt in April, Keygan was left in a catatonic state for weeks.
Since returning home, his family has helped him relearn a lot.
“Two months ago he needed 24/7 care and then they started asking us to back off because we had put Keygan in a good spot so Keygan learned to clean again. his room. He’s learning to drive, ”Dodson said.
As Keygan has become more independent over the past few months, he has been training with his service dog Alexis.
This gave the family the idea to start making special dog treats, something Keygan found a talent for.
“It’s pretty fun. He and I work on it, his sister-in-law Morgan helps him out, then his younger brother helps him out, which creates a bit of a friendliness, ”Dodson said.
A month later, the family now has a business called “Doggylicious,” taking orders and helping Keygan bake special cakes and treats for the puppies.
“People kind of let Keygan do his own thing, so if they want a cake, they’ll just tell us how old their puppy is. They will tell us if there are any allergies and whatever design they come up with is what they take, ”Dodson said.
Dodson said the candy making has been therapeutic for his son and helps him become more independent.
“When it comes to decorating, we all give ideas, so we sort of do it together. We are doing it to help him, ”she said.
The money the family has earned from early sales will help Keygan and his canine companion complete their service dog training.
“She knows how to sit, sit, paw, high five, crawl, focus, touch, and she’ll learn more things once she’s fully trained,” Keygan said.
The business is only just getting started, but the initial feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
“All dogs really like them. Some people have sent us pictures of when they receive their cake, so people love them. It’s pretty fun watching the videos and then we can laugh, so it’s just something fun, ”Dodson said.
So far the family has taken orders from Winchester, Front Royal and Strasbourg, but they will deliver and eventually ship the orders to the valley.
You can find out more about the company and place an order here.
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