Yesterday started out like a regular day at the office, I was working on grants, puppy transports, free chats, fundraising coaching, etc. etc. ... and then it started.
4 TEXT MESSAGES
11:31 Good Dog! Charlie's Mom
12:57 Good Dog! Sully's Professional/Mom
1:00 Good Dog! Blaze's Mom
1:54pm Good Dog! Eddie's Mom
It's not unusual for Rick and I to receive text messages from our families on a regular basis, but it's highly unusual for 4 to come in one day within hours of each other. So we wondered, why Wednesday? Why now? We decided it might just be the best time ever to share the hope and promise that comes with a Good Dog! It was a sign to spread some heartwarming news from North Carolina, West Virginia, New Orleans, and the Pacific Northwest with YOU who help us make it all happen! So THANK YOU for your continued support and love for our families and dogs. And enjoy the messages below!!
by Good Dog! Cade and Charlie's Mom Amanda
We’ve had our Good Dog! Charlie home with us for exactly three weeks today. She has adjusted amazingly and each day I feel such gratitude for what the entire Good Dog! team has does for our family. These dogs are incredible and to see the genuine life changing presence Charlie has brought in to our home makes me want to share our unique experience. The first week home we dove head first into activities, which helped with my confidence as her benevolent leader. The first two weeks we went on lots of grocery shopping, movies, and even church outings. But we hadn’t taken her out for an entire “working” day until this past Friday.
Excerpts from a blog of top 10 vacation reflections – Written by Natasha McIntyre)
We experienced our first Disney World trip with a service dog! We are novice Disney vacationers, only being our second trip. With that said, I had no earthly idea how to do Disney with a service dog. I packed lots of treats, his shoes, a travel water bowl, and my confidence…
9) Blaze made such a difference for Wyatt. I was amazed by how much of the parks Wyatt walked, how he got on and off the rides with more confidence and overall so much more calm and happy. Most people were so much more patient with us and provided smiles instead of stares…
By Good Dog! Grom's Mom, Jenny
We survived! Here we are...off to the side, so that we can be invisible and unobtrusive at the middle school dance. We waited until line got low, then entered. Good Dog Grom was great. Me, I was a little like "Bill the Cat" due to the 500 plus, sugar jacked up tween and teenagers.
It's hard to bring a weighted blanket or a squeeze machine with you everywhere you go, but an Autism Service Dog can serve the same purpose & they carry their own weight.
Did you know that autism service dogs have been scientifically proven to lower stress hormones in some kids with autism? This can result in a child being more calm, focused and regulated!
In addition, tethering can help a child with autism focus on the task at hand by offering them a reminder of where they are in relation to their environment. In other words, if the child focuses elsewhere & starts to wander, the tether system helps them refocus and stay on task.
We have a group of commands we call "companion commands". These commands are used to help develop the bond between child and dog as well as serve as tools to help a child with autism related with their peers. Because who doesn't love a dog with a few tricks up their ... ummm ... paw?
Did you know that having a dog sleep on the bed can help a child with autism sleep through the night? The dogs presence helps the child know where their body is in space and that helps them feel safe. Many children are able to sleep through the night in their own bed for the first time ever when they get their Good Dog!
Often when a child gets an autism service dog it's their first opportunity to care for another being. This added responsibility can be both exciting and motivating!! Sometimes it takes a while, but eventually most of our kids take on the responsibility of brushing both teeth and fur, feeding and bathing their best friend.
Autism Service Dogs can be a bridge to Independence for our kids! Here Good Dog! Dude accompanies Alex at Disneyland & on the bus! Go Dude!
by Laura Sylvester
Two months ago we celebrated the graduation of the Good Dog! Autism Companions Class of 2015. Presently we are hard at work matching our newest teams for our next rising class. When we begin matching potential canine and human pairs, there are several factors to consider. Good Dog! uses a three tiered system to evaluate personality compatibility, the child’s specific needs, and family environment.
When our service pups in-training reach approximately 16 months of age we begin the matching process, where we assess for potential compatibilities between our dogs and the parent handlers. Using Bonnie Bergin’s “Social Styles” scale, we assess both the parent and dog’s levels of assertiveness and responsiveness. Our team plots both the dog and parent’s traits onto a grid to see how they fall in relation to one another. Bergin’s “Social Styles” allow us to classify each person and pup into four basic categories: analytical, driver, amiable, and expressive. Each category can be further divided into subcategories: analytical-analytical, driver-analytical, amiable-analytical, expressive-analytical, driver-driver, driver-amiable, drver-expressive, amiable-amiable, amiable-expressive, expressive-expressive, and expressive-driver.