The following is an unedited Letter from a client we placed a Service Dog with earlier this year.
Daniel is my son and he has Autism, SPD, DPD and ADHD. Daniel’s processing disorder makes it very hard for him to go to a lot of public places. It has been a journey. A wonderful journey. For 7 years, my son would only use one bathroom, his! He wouldn’t even use the one in my bedroom. We had to take a couple trips and it was just awful for him. We would have to take him outside and find a place that was quiet for him to do his duty. If we had appointments, we had to schedule around when he would need to go potty. Daniel wasn’t able to talk until he was almost 7! He would cry if we tried to get him into a bathroom! We tried to make appointments very close to home so that if we had to take him home, it wouldn’t be too far!
Noises, oh, every noise would just set him into a whirlwind. We don’t realize how many noises go on around us constantly. Children with Sensory Processing Disorder do! We bough him some headphones that they use at shooting ranges to help block out some of the noise. He can hear a train miles away and we have to listen very hard to try to hear it. If a bathroom vent is on, he will get a headache.
We had to take a trip to Florida in November. One of our older sons was getting married. I was very, very nervous about the trip! I knew that flying would be really hard on Daniel! It was! But, something magical happened on that trip that changed our lives and gave Daniel a miracle that we would have never expected!
We were very delayed at the airport and Daniel had his headphones on. He had tears streaming down his face. He had to go to the bathroom. We went in and Daniel had a panic attack. He started to bolt for the door! There was a lady standing by the door with a service dog. She asked Daniel to come over to pet him. Daniel loves animals!!! She explained to me that the dog was in training as an Autism dog! We had NO idea that Autism service dogs even existed! The lady and the dog walked with us toward the stall and Daniel went in and used the bathroom!!! What an exciting, wonderful miracle that dog was!
We stayed in Florida for a week and Daniel used the bathroom at the cottage!!! We were in total shock! How could that dog get Daniel to do something that we had been trying to get him to do for years? The day that we got home, I started researching everything that I could about Autism service dogs! I called so many. I asked a lot of questions. I finally found Dog Wish!!! I talked to Bob for at least an hour if not two! I had read his website and when I talked to him, I just knew that we had found the right guy to bring a miracle to Daniel!
Daniel was matched up with a German Shepherd named Cowboy! I didn’t know much about German Shepherds, I was always a poodle girl! I talked to Bob often and he was so great about talking me through the entire process. I would call him if Daniel was having anxiety about something and Bob always had wonderful advice!
In April Daniel and I flew out to California to finally meet Cowboy, Bob, Kerry, Matt and Micaela! Daniel and I just fell in love with the team!!! We felt at home, we felt like we were part of the family!
When we drove up the driveway, I saw Cowboy lounging in the grass and I couldn’t park the car fast enough!!! I looked into his eyes and I was madly, head over heels in love with him already! He was my son’s miracle!!! We worked with Bob and his team to learn how to handle him and it was one of the greatest experiences!!! It was Easter weekend and Daniel and I would be away from our family. I had planned to have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with Daniel at the motel. Kerry asked if we would join them for dinner! It was awesome!
We have a rather large family! We have 5 sons that are 25-32 and our son that is 7 and our daughter is 6. We also have 5 grandsons!
Daniel’s world changed the day that he met Cowboy! He hasn’t had a meltdown!!! He gets frustrated, but, he handles it now! He uses public bathrooms, we can go see a movie, we can go to Jump Zone! We can go anywhere now!!!
Shortly after we came home, my husband was diagnosed with cancer and a very rare blood disease. It was devastating. Cowboy watches over him and makes sure that he is ok! The day that I had a breakdown and everything had hit me, I went outside and Cowboy came outside with me. I sat down beside the pool and cried my eyes out. Cowboy laid right beside me and he would put his paw on me to reassure me! I was exhausted, I hadn’t slept in a few days. I just laid down and Cowboy got under me and was my pillow. I fell asleep for a little while and Cowboy stayed right under me. He wasn’t going to move a muscle until he knew I was alright! What a buddy!!!
When Cowboy isn’t working, he is my Goober!!! He is so funny! He thinks he is a lap dog! He runs and fetches tennis balls and he loves squeaky toys!
Cowboy distracts Daniel from noises! Daniel hasn’t worn his headphones since Cowboy came home! Cowboy will distract Daniel when he is getting frustrated or upset! Cowboy helps Daniel to concentrate on his schoolwork! Cowboy knows when anyone in the house needs them! He is the most amazing, funny, smart, wonderful dog in the world!
The timing was amazing! Cowboy has helped all of us! I don’t think Daniel could have handled his Daddy being so sick without having his Cowboy right beside him! We take my husband to radiation every day and it would have been a meltdown every day if we didn’t have Cowboy!
What is a service dog for Autism? A service dog for Autism is a miracle!!!
If you are considering a trained Psychiatric Service Dog, call Bob at 760-662-3767, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Our website is http://www.dogwish.org, and we will be glad to help YOU!
Marcia’s note: Bob Taylor is one of our unsung heroes. He trains service dogs for our kids with autism. Thanks Bob for all you do for so many, not only our kids!
Read the original article http://dogwishservicedogs.com/2015/03/30/what-is-a-psychiatric-service-dog-for-autism.