Sunday, January 16, 2011

I thought I talked about the Dog Thing

... but I guess maybe I didn't?  I'm not what you would call a dog person and I am definitely not what you'd call a person that wants to take on any more work.  But a few months ago, a friend of mine wrote to me from Florida and she said that her neighbor's grandson had autism and that he had just gotten a dog.  She said the kid used to be a real 'bolter' and that the dog had really curbed (ha!  see what I did there?) the kids' bolting.  She said that the family told her that it had changed their lives.  Then I read a little bit about it on the internet and I kept seeing that phrase, that getting a therapy dog 'changed their lives'.  I thought, hey! our lives need changing!  Because our lives suck!  Ha, not really, but you know what I mean.

So I started looking into it, I wrote about it on twitter and several people responded with information and I started to look into it.  Then I went to a Christmas party at my friend Kathi's house and I was just talking about it and Kathi's cousin Evelyn said SHE was on the board of the Indiana Canine Assistance Network.  She said the greatest things about it and she said that it was much cheaper through this program than any other.  She kept saying it was a 'nominal fee'.  So I read about it the next day and saw that there was, indeed, a nominal fee of $25 to apply and then it was a not-so-nominal fee of $950 to get the dog.  I was shocked, as that seems like a lot of money, to me.  THEN I looked at some national programs and found out that it was like $15,000 for a therapy dog through them and I thought hey!  This is why $950 seems so nominal, it's *by comparison*.  So.   We had some trouble getting info at first, because I sent an email to get some information as to what exact kind of service dog we'd apply for, and of course I didn't hear from the person.  I prefer to email, always, but lots of people want to talk on the damned phone.  Since it's hard for me to talk on the phone, because of a whole host of reasons (our home phone sucks, our cell phones get bad reception in the house and in 90 percent of the city, AT&T sucks), I begrudgingly called this week and talked to a wonderful person who sent me the exact form we needed.  So.  We are on our way.  I am saving my lunch money and we're going to do this, as long as it works out okay for Anthony.  It's a very slow and gradual process, they want to be sure it's a good fit, as of course we do, so we'll just see.

6 comments:

Hannah said...

Have you considered Canine Companions for Independence? They are free, I think (but I think you pay some travel costs/do some training). A boy at our church has a dog through them but he's not autistic...they RAVE about them all the time though.

Joanne said...

I haven't but I will look at them, thanks. I like the ICAN thing because it's prisoners that do the training, and I like the idea of that from a rehabilitation aspect. I'm so glad to hear another good story, thanks!

MamaBerg said...

i feel as though we could combine everyone Kathi knows into an elite super hero team and take over the world...for good of course!

Joanne said...

OMG I know! She has also gotten me my last two babysitters, like in ten minutes or something. She is truly amazing.

Anonymous said...

I have also heard good things about pets and autism. I am so glad you are looking into it and once again Anthony has awesome parents!

Stephanie said...

Wow you are amazing to consider a dog for Anthony:) I imagine a canine companion won't be much trouble, you might find you like him/her better then your kids because they don't talk back! Or maybe that's just me!