An Autism Service Dog for R3...this is happening!

As you know our little guy has been diagnosed with Autism.  We have been working hard with his speech and social development.  His team (yes he has a team!) has decided that he would greatly benefit from a service dog.  

Holding onto "his" baby on the farm
There are times when I feel like God intervenes and this is one of them. The wait time for a service dog is years.  Years.  I became daunted by the process and reached out to the CARD center at the Kennedy Krieger Center at Johns Hopkins University Hospital where he is a patient. ( It is a very specialized clinic for Autism.)  I called to ask about organizations that they recommend, and I was connected with a social worker who just happened to work with this group, North Star Dogs (  She had such glowing and wonderful things to say.  The last child was nonverbal when he got his dog and is now in college.  What a testament!!

At the beach in California!
I called and the director just happened to be there.  We spoke at length and she sent me the paperwork.  Somehow the stars aligned and I was able to fill it out immediately and send it back.  Within 10 minutes she called me and approved us for a dog.  10 minutes!  

Instead of getting a fully grown animal, the puppy will be raised near us and have at least monthly visits with R3 until he/she is ready for placement.  That way we can all be sure it's the right place!

Helping his baby with her shoes
The next step is fundraising.  It is a nonprofit and a charitable organization.  They don't like to have parents just write a check.  Because of the nature of a service dog and being a part of the child's community, they prefer to have the community involved in the fundraising for that dog.  

This was so exciting to me!!! With the help of so many wonderful people that I know (and love) we have already raised the minimum needed.  I have no intention of stopping there!  There are lots of kids that don't have the support (financially and otherwise) to obtain a service dog.  I am excited to help.  

I have already planned a fundraising night for our local Chick-Fil-A (thank goodness I was chosen as a Chick-Fil-A mom's panel member, huh?) and have another one planned with a local pizza joint called Ledo's Pizza.  Holy wow is that amazing.  I am so excited by this opportunity.  I will keep you posted on our journey!

In case you haven't entered the Back to School Bash GIVEAWAY I am hosting with Mainely Mama, go ahead and enter here!

All my love,

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