Thursday, August 14, 2014

Almost Final Update!

Phew. We finally did it! We raised enough money to bring Oreo home and complete the training here!

A big thank you to everyone who made this possible. All my readers, friends, family, my daughter's school, my son's school, my daughter's gymnastics place... So many people made this possible!

The final post will happen this weekend when Oreo gets here and meets his new best friend, Teo.

I'll snap a few pictures. If you'd like to follow along after that, go ahead and "like" our Facebook page (on the side bar). It will be too hard to keep this blog up-to-date.

Thank you and stay tuned for pictures!!!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Happy Birthday, Teo! (And an Update)

***You can read about Teo here***

We have an update! If you've been following along, you probably heard Lark didn't work out in our family. But we've been matched with another dog!

Oreo (named by Teo) is coming in the fall! Oreo is a black lab and being trained more for Teo's mannerisms and we're hoping for a good fit!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TEO!!! Today is Teo's 8th birthday so it's a great time to give to his cause!

We're still about $500 short of our goal so keep buying those books! Link is on the right hand side.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

When Things Don't Go As Planned...

My cousin, Amy, and I fell in love with Lark quickly. She's a sweet, smart dog, very beautiful, but unfortunately not the right fit for us.

These things happen, especially with service dogs, and especially with complicated kids like Teo. Lark would make an adult family very happy, but was not suitable for intense and active children, or for service in the general public.

But don't worry, we've been re-matched already and I'll share more details soon. Teo was upset Lark had to go at first, but when he heard about the next dog, and that he would get to name it, he was happy again.

I'll have more information about our next match soon. Sometimes it takes 2 or 3 dogs before we find the right fit, so this is a minor setback, that's all. What we do know from the experience is that Teo's self-esteem and confidence soared in just these last two days. He was calmer and the dog helped distract him from things that would've bothered him before. So we do believe we're on the right track!

Thanks for the continued support! Here's a few pictures of Lark and Teo for you to enjoy.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Lark is Here!!!

My cousin Amy and I flew to Kentucky early early this morning to pick up Teo's dog, Lark. We got to the training center at noon, spoke with the owner for a bit, got some background on the breed and Lark's history, then he left to get the dog and her trainer.

She is just the friendliest thing. Came right over to us, let us pat her, gave us kisses.

The trainer taught us how he works with Lark and what she can do. It was pretty impressive. She's a smart dog, very obedient and well-trained. Very focused and happy and wanting to please you. So he let me and Amy work with her a bit while he watched and helped out. Lark was a little confused at first but picked it up fast. She bonded to us right away, especially when we brought out the treats. Lol.

She's a very affectionate dog. She loves to give kisses and cuddles. She was perfect in the car. We took her to a dog park. She didn't seem to know quite what to do. It's obvious she's been trained to work, not really to play and stuff. But she seems happy just walking along, being patted, getting attention. She didn't bark once. We even took her to Walmart and she was very chill.

What's great about Lark is that she's a sturdy, tough dog. My son can pat her roughly and she'll love it. She likes to lie on top of people and huddle in close to them so he'll love the comfort she provides. I think the match is perfect. We just have to work out some specific skills and we'll be all set!

And for the fundraising update...

We're at $6,500!!! So we're almost there! The last little bit will help pay for Lark's specific training here in CT with a qualified trainer and my son.

Thank you so much to everyone who made this dream possible for us. All the donors, fans of Leia Shaw, co-workers of Dave (my husband), my fellow CTRWA people, my daughter's school Oak Grove Montessori, and generous friends and family members! I can't wait to update again about how Teo does with Lark.

Friday, April 11, 2014

April 11th Update!

It's been a while for news from us, but we've been busy with our projects to raise money. We have the book, Superdogs for Super Kids, the t-shirts, and the tote bags.

The t-shirt campaign ends on April 16th - that's next week so get yours now!

The tote campaign ends April 19th - so hurry for that too!

The book will continue to be available, and it's on AMAZON NOW!!!

I'm so pleased to announce we're at $6,000 for fundraising!!!!!

We are so close to our goal, I can practically smell the dog already! Lmao. But really, Lark is coming in just TWO WEEKS!!!

The remainder of the money we need to raise is for her continued training here with us. Thank you to everyone who's helped and shared and bought and donated! You guys rock!

Major shout out to my daughter's school for $315 in bake sale goods <3

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Superdogs for Super Kids!

My new children's book, Superdogs for Super Kids, is now available!!!

It's in print on Createspace but will be on Amazon in a couple of weeks as well. Buying it on Createspace is preferable because we get higher royalties.

I think you'll love this book -- if you have kids or a kid to gift it to, you can buy it here.

 Dogs have a special place in kid's hearts. They make us laugh, give us comfort, and some even provide therapeutic services. Learn more about how dogs impact special people's lives in this beautiful photo book the whole family will love.

***All proceeds of this book go to help a little boy with brain damage buy and train a therapeutic service dog***

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Update, April 1st

***Read Teo's story here***

I have a few bits of good news to share.

1. Teo is out of the hospital and doing well! We saw the Lego movie over the weekend, which he loved. He's been obsessed with Lark's pictures and using them as a distraction when he's upset. He also bought her a dog bed for his room. I'm excited that he's excited. He talks about how Lark will help him calm down, and that he can't wait to walk her around the block. He mentioned tying her to his bike but we talked through why that wasn't such a great idea. Lol.

2. We're getting closer to our fundraising goal. We've stalled a little bit but I'm hoping the book sales move us ahead again. We still need 40 more shirts to reach our goal, and 6 more totes. If you haven't bought either yet, the buy links are on the right column. I'm also in the process of trying to do an event at the local bookstore, educating about therapy dogs and selling books. We're also toying around with the idea of a dog wash to raise money. We have to wait till it gets a little warmer though so hurry up spring!

3. We have a date set to pick up Lark! May 1st, I'll be flying out to KY to train a little with her then bring her home. Fingers crossed this goes well!

I'll update again soon when the books are ready for purchase! Until then, be well, and thanks for all the support!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Therapy Dog T-Shirts!

***Read Teo's story here***

I designed this adorable t-shirt on TFund to support therapy dogs for kids everywhere! A percentage of the proceeds goes to A Therapy Dog For Teo fund so please share the link and spread the word!

ONLY $15!!! That's really cheap for a T-Shirt, especially one for such a good cause.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Update on Fundraising!

***Read Teo's story here***

We're at $4,000 everybody! A little over halfway there!

For the totes, we need 20 sold in order for them to print. We're at 12 now so just a few more and I can relax about people getting their product. Buy link is on the right.

We're waiting for the book, Superdogs for Super Kids, to come in the mail so we can proof it. Then that will be published for sale. 100% of the profits go to Teo's therapy dog training.

Good work to everyone who's been helping! We are so grateful for the support. Teo is so excited that people care about him so much to share our links and donate to this cause.

A special shout out to Gerri and Susan, who've taken this on as their mission and used their connections to try to get us this dog!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Meet Lark!

***Read Teo's story here***

We're one step closer to a therapy dog for Teo. We've been matched!

Meet Lark.

Lark a 1.5 year old Giant Schnauzer. She was in training to be a protection dog but broke her leg as a puppy. She fell behind in her training for protection but is the gentlest, sweetest dog, according to the trainers. They say shell make a perfect service dog for a child.

We can't wait to meet her!

Superdogs for Super Kids is a children's photo book I wrote and it's on its way to publication. All royalties collected go straight to the training of Lark. I'll post when it's available for purchase.

Thank you again for all the support. Another update on fundraising is coming soon. A special shout out to Gail, Jody, Sorcha, and Julie!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

First Update! A Dog Has Been Chosen!

***Read Teo's story here***

We have our first update today, March 20th.

A dog has been chosen! I can't wait to show you pictures and share her story. She's a very special dog, which is perfect for our very special kid.

Her name is Lark.

As for fundraising, we've reached $2,300 so far and sold 5 tote bags! This is amazing progress, especially for such a short time. Ultimately we need $7,000 to cover the cost of Lark and all the training. Anything extra will go toward travel expenses when we go get her.

We are so thrilled and blessed from all the support we've received so far. We still have a long way to go so keep sharing the links if you can! For the tote bags to be printed, we need to sell at least 20 so if you haven't picked one up yet, you can do it here. They make great gifts!

I'm also working on a beautiful photo children's book about how dogs help kids. That should be available for purchase online in print form next week.

Hopefully, tomorrow I'll have some pictures of Lark to show you! I showed Teo a video of Lark and he's so excited. He also said her name is cute :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

About Service Dogs for Autism

***Read Teo's story here*

This isn't the organization we're using to train Teo's dog but it's a great little snippet of information for how autism and therapeutic service dogs work. Whenever I watch this stuff, I tear up. I'll post the good ones I find here :)

Buy a Tote, Train a Dog!

***Teo's story below***

What does everybody need? A tote bag!

We've teamed up with fundraising site, Booster, to provide tote bags with an adorable logo for you to buy for only $20! A portion of the sales goes toward our fund, A Therapy Dog for Teo!

Please consider sharing the link on the site with your friends! Thank you in advance for all your support!

Updates on Teo's dog coming soon!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Meet Teo

This is my son, Teo. He is a sweet, loving 7 year old boy who loves cars, animals, and music. Because of circumstances beyond his control, he has static encephalopathy - irreversible brain damage that effects his emotional, behavioral, social, and academic learning. He is also on the autism spectrum.

Teo loves animals, especially dogs! But most dogs have trouble being loved by him. He is sweet but can be very intense. He so badly wants to cuddle and play with them! A while ago we heard about how certain breeds of dogs can be trained to provide specific services to kids with autism, brain damage, and other disabilities. We were so excited to explore this way to help our son.

Because of his limitations, it can be very difficult for him to remain calm and appropriate at home, school, and in public. Some things a therapy service dog can do for him are:

~ Distract him when he seems agitated
~ Provide sensory input when he's feeling hyper or unsettled
~ Give him a boost of confidence training, grooming, and walking him/her
~ Be a conversation starter with peers
~ Be available to cuddle when he's sad or calming down after a meltdown
~ Sleep with him at night to alleviate his fears and anxiety
~ Interrupt unwanted behaviors and perseverations

We are committed to all the work necessary to make this happen for our son. We are desperate to give him more tools to enhance his quality of life and daily functioning. As you can imagine, buying and training a dog for him comes at a high cost. When I announced the decision to friends and family, I got such an overwhelming response of support. People wanted to know how to help.

We feel blessed to have this little boy in our lives and we are thrilled so many people care so much about him! So we've set up a fund people can donate to in order to help pay for the cost of the dog and its training. 100% of the money raised goes to the foundation A Therapy Dog for Teo. If you would like to donate, the link is on the right hand column.

Our goal is to raise $7,000 for the cost of the dog, two months of boarding and training then another month of specific training here with Teo. If we get more than $7,000, that will go toward travel expenses in picking up the dog.

We will post updates as we go along, as well as video and pictures of the dog we were matched with.