Monday, January 31, 2011

A dog for Abs?

Last year during one of the monthly meetings with Abby's social worker (who I miss SO MUCH! she was so helpful) she mentioned the idea of Abby someday having a service dog. I filed it in the back of my brain... largely because I remembered reading an article about a little girls with developmental delays and motor issues like Abby who had her life changed by a service dog. I hadn't thought much about it until about two months ago when I read another article about service dogs being such a huge help for so many different kinds of people. (People think they are for blind people or those wheelchair bound, but they do so much more.)

I decided recently to start poking around and I was quickly shut down when I read that they cost minimally $5,000 to adopt. I could never justify that kind of cost unless it was a MUST.

My sister told me about two months ago that she knows a woman who adopted a dog who was trained to be a service dog but was unable to pass the certification test for small reasons. It got me thinking that maybe adopting a dog who couldn't pass because it didn't go under an airplane seat or something minor might be a good way to go. I sent a couple of e-mails to inquire but didn't hear anything.

After we lost Rex I felt like I needed to let it go for a while so I put it back on the back burner. Then, out of nowhere, I got TWO responses to my e-mails. Both e-mails (from two different organizations) told me that adopting a "career change" or retiree would be difficult since the lists are so long. BUT they explained that the cost of adopting the dogs is usually covered through fundraising, contributions, company matching and sponsorship. I was a little thrown aback. It might actually be a possibility.

So I am doing a little looking into it. There are age requirements so I am not sure what the timeline would be. I just love the idea that when she is 10 and she wants to walk around the corner to my Moms house she could go "by herself" (instead of me walking her) with her dog and I wouldn't have to worry about her falling and hitting her head or breaking anything. It would be such an amazing thing for her.

I think it will be a long process but it looks like it might be one worth starting.

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