There really is more to life than the daily grind. We so often live our lives in a tidy little box and don't allow the rest of the world to come in, but we really must. We are all on this planet together and we must take care of each other. Lately this has been the message that the world has been getting. In light of the tragedies around this world we need to understand that we do need to stand shoulder to shoulder and be there for each other. But it's not just when tragedy strikes, we need to support each other in our daily lives.
For the past year this is something I have been involved in. I have had the privileged to help dear friends and their son fund raise for his service dog that he will be receiving later this coming year. I could tell you all about Andrew, how I was the first visitor to the hospital, about how tiny he was that first day I held him. How very funny and smart this kid is......I am head over heels in love with this kid, he is awesome. But I will let his parents tell you about Andrew and what this dog will mean for him.
Andrew, a grade four student in Brockville, has ADHD and Asperger’s (a form of autism). He also has a wicked sense of humour, wisdom beyond his years, and an intellect that will take him far. Andrew’s potential is unlimited, so long as we continue to work with him and provide him with the tools and therapies that he needs to succeed.
As is typical of a child with autism, Andrew struggles with sensory processing, which means how his brain processes sound, light, movement, touch, taste, etc. For a child, like Andrew, the noise of a classroom may be deafening, the lights blinding, and the movements startling. A mother’s hug, meant to be comforting, may in fact be painful. Because sensory overload can cause Andrew to have violent meltdowns, he isn’t able to participate in many of the activities that a typical 10-year-old boy should be enjoying. Summer activities like soccer and softball are out of the question because most sports fields are near train tracks. Even something as simple as swimming at the YMCA has to be carefully timed because the happy laughter of children playing is magnified in the pool area and can be painful. As a parent, it’s absolutely heartbreaking.
Andrew is only 10, but his life has been ruled by crippling anxiety for years. The arrival of Andrew’s Autism Service Dog is going to change all that. Similar to the way a young child might take his favourite blanket or teddy with him everywhere he goes and feel safer because of it, Andrew is going to have a best friend with four paws, soft ears, and a wet nose with him wherever he goes. This dog will be trained to recognize the signs that Andrew is getting anxious or close to sensory overload, often before he even realizes it himself, and to proactively engage him in a calming activity.
So, what’s the catch? The catch is that it costs upward of $20,000 to take a dog from crazy puppy to fully trained service dog. While the dogs are free to the families accepted into the program, we are asked to fundraise to help offset as much of that cost as possible.
We hope that you will join us on our journey. Because in the end, it’s all about a little boy and his dog. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Follow us at Facebook/adogfordrew.
“Autism Service Dog = A companion and best friend to help and guide a child through a life directed by autism but lives in hope of a bright future.”
Laura & Will
...Yes I am tugging at your heartstrings and yes I am asking you for money. I am donating this beautiful painting up for a silent auction that I will be hosting very soon.
This painting is valued at $250 and will have a starting bid of $150......please send me an email to buy this painting, or if you have any questions regarding the painting.
I am including a link to K4 Paws website where you can make a donation towards Andrew's Dog. Any amount you can give will be greatly appreciated.