Happy New Year Good Dog! Families! Well, the Altwer Family recently celebrated our 1 year anniversary of having our boy, Elvis, in our lives. While I can’t believe it’s been a year already, I couldn’t help but think about all the changes that have happened … and also the changes that I continue to see. I apologize for the lengthy post that is about to follow, but it comes from my heart & I really wanted to share.
by Good Dog! Yellow's and Sebastian's Mom Kimberly
A little over 2 years ago, I posted the below on FaceBook to explain Sebastian’s sensory processing challenges that impact his walking and my hopes around how A Superdog for Sebastian would help him...
Yesterday, we went to Michael’s craft store with Yellow. It was the first time he walked the entire time (without having to ride in the cart or have me carry him). Sebastian was focused on our shopping list and staying next to Yellow.
The fluorescent lights overwhelmed him while we waited in line but he was able to overcome it with some stimming behavior (I call it “the Stevie Wonder rock”). A woman standing behind us didn’t give us a strange look like what would normally happen. Instead, she was kind and complimented his dog.
We finished paying and as we headed to the car, Sebastian proudly carried our shopping bag (another first!).
Two years ago, this kind of outing was something I could only wish for. Something so simple as a trip to the store became a reality yesterday. I could never thank enough all the donors and supporters who made this happen. 💙
June 5, 2016 - FaceBook post
Walking. I never anticipated that walking would consume most of my thoughts. But it does. It's stressful. Like many parents, we cheered Sebastian on when he took his first steps at 10 months old. He progressed quickly from those first few stumbling steps to full on running.
Looking back, I had no clue that "walking feet!" would become my daily mantra. I bet that sounds pretty typical, right? Lots of parents yell at their kids to slow down and not run. I wish that was just the case, but there's more to it...
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.
by Good Dog! Luna and Chatham's Mom Ingrid
We participated in the ATPF, JetBlue Blue Horizons sponsored scavenger hunt at the San Diego Airport on April 30, 2017. There were about 20-25 families who participated in total. This was a totally fun day! Thank you to the amazing organizations that put on this event!
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.
by Good Dog! Koa's Mom - Lisa
posted with permission by Aaron's Mom, Lisa:
The past two days have marked a turning point in our family’s life. We went back to Disneyland for the first time in five years! August is typically the most difficult month for Aaron, and one of the most crowded months at “Neeland" (as Aaron used to call it) but we just had a hunch our boy was ready. And, of course we have Koa now...
As we walked up to the gates, Steve and I both choked up. How could we not feel that way? Aaron was happily skip-walking along, Koa’s leash in his little hand, Small World playing in the background. The moment was awesome. Aaron did not show any trepidation. He was just HAPPY … Our sweet boy, who frequently struggles with some of life’s easiest tasks, was centered and joyful. The moment took our breath away.
by Laura Sylvester & Good Dog! Hero's Mom - Tamara
As an autism Mom, I understand the motivation in wanting an autism service dog for your child -- after all, that is how Good Dog! was born. We dream of seeing our children calm, focused and regulated. We hope that the dog will help them sleep through the night, motivate them to play, talk, engage, and encourage responsibility. We yearn for them to be connected to others, hoping the dog will serve as a social bridge and lead our child to gain a friend. BUT, the true miracle is the increased LOVE, ACCEPTANCE AND CONNECTEDNESS that most people show our families when we are in public with our child and their Good Dog.
For Autism Awareness day Rick and I took the day off work so we could have a family day. We took Elliot and Orbit on one of our favorite walks -- the San Clemente Beach Trail. We were not more than 200 yards into it when a runner said something to us as he ran by. I asked Rick what he said because I hadn't heard him. "You all sure look happy," Rick repeated. I thought to myself, "Of course… Look at this day, look at this view. I am with my family and I am so proud of both my boys" (pictured above).