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.
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!