So the big (HUGE!) news in our house is that we are in the process of bringing home a Service Dog for Collin. Specifically this handsome German Shepard:
His name is Bru, but goes by Boo or Boo Boo.
A service dog will provide a calming effect for those moments of high anxiety that exacerbate his tics. We try to help, but nothing we say connects in those moments and dogs just have a natural way of calming when nothing else can. Boo will be trained to be with Collin at all times and place his head on his lap when his tics start escalating. He can provide companionship for those moments where he feels depressed and no one understands. It is lonely and frustrating to be living with a constant, visible disorder that he cannot control. I am SO excited about this for him and am convinced it will be a wonderful, needed experience for him.
So back to Boo… it is funny how we found him. I asked my mom to call a couple of service/therapy dog companies who I had seen online. I was so drained after a night of trying to help him cope with everything but really wanted to get the ball rolling because the process can take over a year. At this point I was just wanting to gather information – Kind of research mode. My mom was happy to help so she called right away, then got a callback from one of the local companies. She had a long conversation with one of the managers then called me back and said, “Um, Josie. I think I have a dog for you!” I was not expecting that so I was like, “Whaaaaa?!” in my head, but said, “Tell me more information, Mother.”
It turns out they had a dog with a personality who would be perfect for this type of work. (a calm dog in order to be a calming presence.) They had raised him from a puppy to be a show dog, but he grew a bit to big for the AKC requirements, so his hopes of being a show-dog were dashed. But, hey that works for us! He has his “Canine Good Citizen Certificate” so he is already very well behaved, but they would train him as a Service Dog in ways that would help Collin specifically . Being a Service Dog would mean Collin could take him anywhere — which is great because anxiety/tics aren’t just a home thing. It is costly, but the price we would pay would be significantly less than other places I’ve looked into and it is a much better, personal situation because of these trainers.
They suggested that we meet this weekend so we could see how Boo and Collin would click and so far so good. After meeting the dog and the awesome team who would be training him, we were very excited to make it official. He will be Collin’s and will eventually come home with us! I’m not sure when that will be, it all depends on how long it takes the dog to learn what we’d need him to learn.
It’s all happened so fast that I’m a little shocked, but
sometimes most of the time God’s timing is different than ours so you just have to roll with it. I’m mostly just excited to provide Collin with such a positive “tool” that can help him learn to manage something he very well may have to deal with for the rest of his life. He deals with such a barrage of negative throughout the day, I think it will be awesome to have a dog to counteract it and start loading up on the positive for him.
So… that’s the scoop! We are very excited and grateful that God opened the doors for this opportunity for him!