Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Getting Our Service Dog Application Out

Our service dog application is nearly complete.  We're just waiting for one more reference letter and we have to make a copy of the application before we send it in.

It's a lot of work.  There was the two week activity log for Alex, a twelve page application, map and directions to our home, a photo of Alex and the letters of reference from various community people.  We got them from Alex's psychologist, his tutor, his teacher, his grandfather (who does most of the outdoor activities with him) and the family we've been "borrowing" a dog from to get Alex used to dogs and see how he interacts with them.

Once it's off, we have to wait and see whether or not we're accepted.  I wish I knew how many applications they received a year so that I had some gauge of our chances.  The two year waiting time doesn't start until after an application is accepted, so I assume that we will be either accepted or rejected, not left hanging on a waitlist indefinitely.

Of course, my mind is already starting to skip ahead to next steps.  If we are accepted for a dog, that will mean some substantial changes.  We would have to get a larger car, as two kids and a Golden Retriever would not be comfortable in the back of my little Yaris.  I would want to look at expanding the playroom in the basement to give them a larger area to run around in when the weather is bad.

And what happens when the dog grows old and can't keep up with Alex any more?  We wouldn't be able to apply again at National Service Dogs, since they provide dogs to children.  Are there places which provide service dogs to adults with autism?  Would we get priority if Alex has already been accustomed to having a dog?

I'm deliberately not researching these questions because I tend to overwhelm myself with information and possibilities.  For now, I have to focus on getting the application out and then waiting to see what the results are.

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