Monday, January 14, 2013

We need a dog, I think

When you're the parent of children with special needs, you're always looking for way to help them.  You sign up to stuff, like a thousand pages on Facebook, leave messages with every possibly relevant organisation and put their name down on every waiting list you come across, and then you sometimes forget half the things you've done.

One of the things I'd almost forgotten was putting my son's name down for a specially-trained dog with the autism charity, My Canine Companion.  Like an autism assistance dog, but more suitable for an older child with aspergers, a companion dog should help to calm him, (and perhaps me too) and make outings easier and more fun for the family.  Then last month I heard that his name was now top of the waiting list!  Decision time… and it's not straight forward - he's not that keen on dogs and nor am I, but I'm willing to be converted if it helps him.  And to try and find the time for the walks and whatever care a dog needs!  Believe me, I have NO idea what is involved.

So how to persuade my son?

By being clever is the answer - and it wasn't my idea.

We're going to dog-sit for the night!

Thank you so much to my lovely Facebook friend who is making this possible.

And this is the beautiful dog who is being loaned to us..



How could this not work?

Hopefully in a few months, we will be enjoying the benefits of a beautiful companion dog ourselves.

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Now, can I ask a favour of everyone reading this please?  No money involved, just votes..

"My Canine Companion, Autism services for children have been shortlisted for MyKidstime Charity of the year 2013. The winning charity with the most votes by midnight 31st January will become the Charity of the Year and receive support and advertising from Mykidstime throughout the year."

So if you can spare a few seconds please vote for My Canine Companion on the list on this page:

http://www.mykidstime.ie/d/vote-2013-mykidstime-charity-year

Thank you!

40 comments:

  1. I hope the dog does help. We had storm the labrador for 2 months now and i can honestly say he has had a calming effect on the children

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    1. How did I miss that? I hope that you're all really enjoying having Storm xx

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  2. Voted. Good luck dog sitting. We have a dog...not a canine companion one but a rescue one. Jono loves him...it's the first and only animal he will pet.

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    1. Thanks so much for voting and sharing the post Val, and very glad that having a dog has worked out well for Jono :)

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  3. We don't have a specially trained dog but our dog is 20 months old now and we have had him since he was 12 weeks old. The difference he has made to my daughter's life is amazing. He is very touch sensitive and the dog has managed over the past year to sit closer and closer to her, nudging her gently until she now allows him to snuggle into her legs. This is huge for her. He waits outside the shower for her and although he is totally hyper with everyone he is not with her. He is gentle and caring. He seems sensitive to her needs. Dogs are great for our kids. I can't recommend a dog highly enough. Good luck.

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    1. The sensitivity to need is what we need, cos of Smiley too. Great that having a dog is working well for FD :)

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  4. very best of luck, iv heard of so many kids on the spectrum convert to dog lovers, thanks to their assistance dog. and the company of the dog might be just what he needs xx

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  5. I'm in love with your friend's dog, he's gorgeous. I think your son will be won over. Hope it goes well.

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    1. I'm in love with that dog too and thank you!

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  6. have fun dog sitting. have voted for the charity. We have a cat (but she tends to spend her time outdoors) but when she came indoors in the snow a couple of years ago by son spent hours just sitting and stroking her fur. Very calming for him - its a shame she is such an outdoor cat as that was just about the only time he has been able to do that. Hope it is a clear cut decision for you what to do about getting the dog so you don't have to worry about it at all. xxx

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    1. My son likes cats more than dogs, but as you say they are not predictable nor so interested or sensitive to the needs of children, so I'm really hoping this will work xxx

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  7. What a gorgeous dog - hope you enjoyed the dog sitting - voted for you x

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  8. I hope it goes well. My dogs are so good with Jack and Loki the little one, just adores him! Also stroking my dogs brings down my stress levels quite a bit and making yourself go out with them, cheers you up no end. Good luck. p.s. I voted :)

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    1. I'm hoping that a dog will reduce everyone's stress levels :) And thanks for voting x

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  9. Oh wow I am so excited or you all. Totally different but my mam is a foster carer and when emotional and distraught our dogs would give great comfort to the children. :) xxx

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  10. Signed, Retweeted and Facebooked!

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  11. Awww he is so gorgeous! Such exciting news. I have voted and I'll head off now and tweet and Facebook to try and get more votes xx

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  12. Just voted! We got a crazy puppy, not therapy trained dog, but the results with Boo have been fantastic. Fingers crossed that you get a new best friend!

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  13. Has made such a difference in our lives having Fudge. The change in Oisin has been amazing. It is hard to remember what it was like before Fudge bounced into our lives.Stress levels are down and I can say applying for the dog was one of the best decisions we as parents hae made for our son.

    We as parents have gained also. MCC is a great family anda great support network for parents.

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    1. I've loved following Oisin's progress with Fudge and it's helped to inspire me to try this xx

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  14. Hi, myself and my partner are parents to the charities fundraising dog Duffy. We do not have any children but I can honestly say these very special dogs make the most wonderful pets. They do such great work with the children, but they are also great companions in the house. They are extremely sensitive and caring. We wouldn't change Duffy for the world. Hope it works out for,

    Love Aishling, Liz and Duffy x

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  15. I'm sure he'll fall in love with that beautiful dog!! I do hope thi works out and have all my fingers & toes crossed!

    xx Jazzy

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  16. I love that dog!

    I hope it works out well. Sounds like a great idea. (Voted) xX

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  17. I can't believe it has taken me three days to get to this blog post. I LOVE it and I LOVE that gorgeous dog (shame that he is only on loan!) and I have to tell you.... we were not dog people UNTIL our first one came along. Now we are completely besotted. (As you know, we now have two!). Seriously, dogs are great and I am sure you will find the whole experience really beneficial.

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    1. You're busy, just like me :) I am SO far behind that it's unreal. A very good friend who is a dog person said the same, that I would love my own dog :)

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  18. Voted! :) very exciting! Let us know how you get on xxxx

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    1. Oh I will don't worry! And thank you for voting xxxx

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  19. I've voted.
    I will be very interested to know how you get on if you do decide to have one.
    I have a son with aspergers and a youngster we think has autism but again we are not sure how we'd cope with a dog on top.

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    1. In theory I'm not sure how I'll cope either! But I'm hoping that if a dog helps my son, he/she could actually save time and encourage him to do important stuff like exercise etc. Also my eldest daughter is very keen, so I think she will help walk the dog anyway :)

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