16 Jul Instant magic
This week at Smart Pups ….
This week I accompanied Senior trainer Dayle Telford on our regular drive to Maryborough and caught up with ‘stories from the front line’, as she had just returned from placing three of our newly graduated Smart Pups with their forever families.
Placement is always such busy, emontional time. A time of nervous energy, adjustment and anxiety for the foster, the dog, the trainer and the awaiting family. For the family it is the culmination of a long journey that started with the initial application, then the hard slog of fundraising and finally the long-anticipated arrival of their dog.
Everyone involved hopes for a perfect match, an instant bond between dog and child that will meet all the expectations the family desperately seek. Most often this takes time, but sometimes, just sometimes a kind of instant magic happens. Pictures really do speak more than words, and what a beautiful picture this is of recently placed Autism assistance dog Tommy and his boy. They both look so peaceful in each other’s company, yet before Tommy’s arrival this young man had never slept alone.
It was a similar story for newly placed Autism assistance dog Groova, who has become his boy’s shadow and best mate. His family say the two are inseparable. Groova enjoys fun trailer rides but is always ready to work helping his boy recover quickly from meltdowns and allowing the family the confidence to visit the shops. But it is at bedtime his impact has been most immediately felt. Before Groova, bedtime was never easy, always involved a parent and many times required medication. Now Groova and his boy take themselves to bed, no medications needed except the security and love of a best canine mate.
And finally, our lovely soft boy Forrest, who melted hearts where ever he went. Forrest was placed as a seizure alert dog. His boy also has a condition that causes his heart rate to drop to a dangerously low rate during sleep. When this happens, an alarm sounds so that his parents can quickly respond by coming into the room to wake their son. Imagine their surprise and delight when they realised that quick learner Forrest was beating them to this task – jumping up on the bed and using his paws on the boy’s chest!
I never cease to be amazed at the wonderful work these dogs do and the difference they make. Instant magic is what we strive for but there is nothing instant about the training involved to achieve this outcome. Your donation will go towards training more life changing dogs, bringing more magic to more families in desperate need. https://www.smartpups.org.au/donate/