Amber and Hazel
We contacted Smart Pups after hearing about how dogs could help Autistic kids like Amber. Now we have our Smart Pup Hazel, we want to spread the word and are happy to tell anyone who will listen or who asks about her.
Hazel’s first week with us was full of challenges, including my broken wrist, a water leak and back surgery thrown in the mix. Hazel took everything in her stride. Our trainer Erica was easy going and flexible and also got our sense of humour. She has remained in contact and is always available with training help or to suggest solutions when problems arise.
Having another dog and a family of dog lovers gives us challenges, especially when Hazel is so very very cute. Unfortunately she is also a vacuum and we are constantly checking her poo for extras.
We work on establishing the bond between Hazel and Amber everyday. They are exactly like each other. Hazel is excited one minute and then zoned out and chilled the next. She is constantly watching Amber. Even when we sit at the park Hazel watches. Her head and her eyes are constantly moving just so she can see Amber.
Even though it has only been a few months since we became a team, Hazel has already used her skills, she will go to nuzzle Amber when she is upset or overwhelmed. When Amber wandered off in a shop, Hazel was able to find her.
We are now able to go places and stay longer. Everywhere that Amber goes, Hazel is there. Amber’s meltdowns are less frequent and shorter.
For me having our first ever Santa photo of Amber and Hazel (of course) was a highlight.
I am eternally grateful to Smart Pups, and to the prisoner and foster family for raising her and then letting her go. You will always have a special place in our hearts.