Saturday 28 May 2016

Autism Assistance Dogs. Purina Walk for Dog Guides, Our Story!


It’s comforting for Olivia to have her constant companion Jovi in life’s unpredictable moments.

Olivia is eight and has autism, and so does her brother. A couple of years ago I came across an article about dog guides and applied right away knowing in an instant my son would benefit from a dog guide,  a year and a half later we received Waylen a Black Standard Poodle.  Later when our daughter was diagnosed I applied again for her to receive a dog guide. I knew right away this would work for our family dynamics. A few weeks later, we were approved for a dog from the foundation’s autism assistance program.

The wait was roughly about a year and a half before I got the call to go to Oakville, Ont., for a 10-day dog guide handler training course for our first dog Waylen. Jovi came 6 months after that; he is an apricot Standard poodle.

Jovi is a calming influence; a constant Olivia can rely on in her life.
When they go out, Olivia knows she is safe by holding onto his harness, she feels confident and relaxed. Jovi, though, is the one who is all business once he puts his harness on he is ultra-focused on her. Jovi is like superman a normal everyday dog when out of his harness and all business once in harness, ready to calm and reassure at a moment’s notice!

The Lions Foundation does wonders in training dogs to adapt to any child they work with, but daily training is a must to keep a guide dog working well in the community and home. That’s why it is super important to not pet or distract a working dog; they really are doing a very important job!

This Sunday at 10 am, there will be a Purina Walk for Dog Guides in Courtenay at the Bosley’s store location. Come out to the walk and support this wonderful cause!
The Lions Foundation of Canada has six programs to train dog guides to assist Canadians:

Canine Vision for people who are blind or visually impaired

Hearing Ear for people who are deaf or hard of hearing

Autism Assistance for children who have autism spectrum disorder

Service for people who have a physical disability

Seizure Response for people who have epilepsy

Diabetic Alert for people who have type 1 diabetes with hypoglycemic unawareness

You can donate by following the link at the top of the page. Thank you so much for supporting families like ours!

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