Thursday, January 15, 2015

Guest Post: A Dog for the Cat

I would like to ask a favor. I don't do many guest posts but this one is important to me. Andrea is a pretty good friend of mine. Even though she is states away, she has been a very big part of my support network. When I needed her, she was there and now she needs us.

A Dog for the Cat
The Cat is an amazing little girl with Asperger's. She has really had a rough go of it lately. She had some bad reactions to meds, and some bad meltdowns. Three days before Christmas I had to make the decision to have the Cat hospitalized. Her behaviors were out of control and try as I might, I just could not keep her safe at home. It broke all of our hearts to make that choice. We were concerned that we may have to send the Cat out of state for long term residential treatment. However with a med wash and some changes at home things are looking up. We will be bringing the Cat home soon.
We are not out of the woods yet. Asperger’s isn’t something that will just go away. But there are ways to make it easier for her. We have made the changes that we can. We now have a visual schedule app for her daily routines. We have slimmed down our expectations, and made it easier for her to keep her environment clean and organized.

We have done what we can at home. But going out in the real world is something we can’t control. Going grocery shopping causes the Cat a lot of anxiety, riding in the car is hard on her ears. School is challenging, but manageable with lots of supports. There is something that can be done to help the Cat navigate these places.

A service dog would help her be able to better navigate her world. The dog will help her navigate social settings, help soothe anxiety, and be a constant companion. There is a safety aspect as well. The dog would be trained to track the Cat as she is a known runner. A service dog would be able to accompany the Cat wherever she goes, school, the store, airplanes, doctor appointments. The Cat would gain a level of independence that she will not have otherwise.

Right now because of her running and SIBs the Cat cannot be left alone, she needs constant supervision. With a service dog, the safety risks are minimal. The dog will be able to help calm the Cat when she is getting agitated, to provide deep pressure and sensory input, to lead the Cat away from environments that are over-stimulating. This dog will change her life.

We have found a wonderful puppy that will be trained to meet all of the Cat's needs, and a wonderful training organization that is free of charge. We are just looking for some help with the upfront costs. Please, whatever you can donate will be so greatly appreciated, and will make a true difference in the life of this sweet girl.

Click here to support a dog for Cat by Andrea.

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