You may say I am a dreamer..

You may say I am a dreamer..

This week at Smart Pups, as Christmas fast approaches I want to focus on travel. For most of us the Christmas Holiday break is associated with some sort of travel, be it meeting up with relatives, short breaks at the beach, going camping or even if you are lucky, heading overseas.

I am going to borrow from the lyrics of John Lennon and ask you to Imagine. Lennon’s song starts by asking us to imagine there is no heaven, that’s not so hard, but by the end of the song the listener is asked to imagine having no possessions. Hard for any of us to imagine.

Now I am going to ask you to imagine you could never contemplate overseas travel. Not so hard. Okay so now imagine even domestic travel is too hard. Imagine that any journey, by rail, by car, by bus is so difficult that it just doesn’t happen. Your world and your family’s world is starting to close down. Finally imagine not even being able to go to the local shops, especially with Christmas crowds. Imagine only shopping online, imagine getting to the shops but having to come home straight away, imagine a life where you haven’t all been out as a family in living memory. Hard for any of us to imagine.

What you are imagining is the reality for many families with special needs children. But having a Smart Pup allows families to imagine a different life, perhaps even to dream about the seemingly impossible. With a Smart Pup at their side new horizons open, not just for one child but for a whole family. Here are some words from our Smart Pup travellers in 2018:-

Smart Pup Forrest, takes his family to Hong Kong

What an amazing week we have had, a dream has come true, a dream that never seemed possible prior to Forrest arriving with us.
He was an absolute trooper, did not miss a beat, he travelled like he has travelled the world before. He nailed the giant fast-moving escalators & stairs. The crowded bustling streets, the narrow street markets, big shopping centres, restaurants & hotel life .

We explored Stanley Market, The Big Buddha, went to Disneyland, The Peak & the ladies street market & of course Bubba Gump Shrimp (they couldn’t believe his name was Forrest!)

There was not one mode of transport we didn’t take – plane, bus, train, ferry, taxi, cable car, tram & plenty of places on foot. Forrest was a hit wherever we went, he made people smile, was in so many photos, he had so many people stop us to ask about him and he amazed them when we explained the work he does for Jonty and that he had travelled all the way from Australia. He coped well with the change in his diet, his toileting routine & the 2 hour time difference.

Most importantly he had his boys back, checked in with him, comforted him when he felt unwell & despite all of his new adventures, sights and smells did not stop working or forget his role. We cannot believe that he has been part of our family for such a short time yet he has made such an impact on us.

Smart Pup Murray takes his family to Sydney

Our first interstate flight with Mr Murray and he was a star. Just having him there kept my daughter’s extreme anxiety in check as she had Murray to focus on. Those lovely soft ears of his are the best calming tool we have. I just can’t express enough just how steady and reliable our boy Murray has been in a totally new environment here in Sydney. He has done an amazing job of navigating Ella through crowds, on buses, ferry, taxis and I love that he always looks back to check on me (I have mobility issues from a long illness). Murray is a wonderful testament to his training under Smart Pups.

Smart Pup Brock takes his family to Ballina

Before Brock, going anywhere was difficult and I would avoid it. So far we are having a lovely holiday in Ballina and everyone is all smiles, Brock has changed all our lives ❤️

Smart Pup Ernie takes his family shopping

Pre Ernie, a simple task like grocery shopping use to be a huge battle to get it all done before it became to overwhelming, going very early in the morning so less people around, wow have our lives changed, actually enjoying shopping, venturing into more crowded places, self confidence grown x10, going to tourist places and just experiencing life’s adventures, all with her 4 legged (sometimes goofy) bestie by her side!!

These are just some of the many inspirational stories about Smart Pup assisted travels in 2018. How amazing was Smart Pup Forrest, working in Hong Kong with so many different smells and so many crowds! Yet perhaps the best achievement in 2018 was Ernie and all the other Smart Pups like him, taking their families out to do the simple things we do without any thought.
So in the words of the immortal Lennon, ‘You may say I am a dreamer’. That’s true! But lets imagine how much your continued support for Smart Pups is going to change the lives of more children in 2019.

Sharni Pinder

Every donation adds up to make a big difference! Your ongoing support goes towards training each Assistance Dog for a child with special needs. You are part of an incredible community of loyal supporters, who together help to make great things possible from what are often small beginnings. Thank you for your donation! All donations over $2 are tax deductible. Thank you for your suppawt.

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