Sunday, May 9, 2010

How Long Before We Get Jacey's Dog?

I have had a few people ask me about when we will receive Jacey's Autism Service Dog.  It's funny because when the Heather Desiena from the news station came out and interviewed us, she asked when we hoped to have the fundraising completed.  Judd told her that he hoped we would be done in six months.  I thought that was a great pipe dream that Judd was living.  I thought it would be wonderful if we could get the fundraising knocked out in maybe nine months to a year.

Since that interview, a lot has happened!  I have been incredibly amazed at the generosity of others.  They are not only changing the world for my daughter, but they have already changed me.  I feel extremely humbled by all that is happening for our family.  I always seem to tear up when I think about the people that have come into our lives in such a special way.  I am indeed grateful and very humbled by this experience.

So, Judd's answer of six months may be more like, oh, maybe two months?  Granted, we haven't gotten to our goal of $13,000 yet but we feel that we may be their shortly.  We have found a new set of family on one of Judd's forums that he frequents.  I used to wonder how he could be on the site for so long ALL the time.  Since he first approached the moderator of possibly posting something about our fundraising efforts to right this minute, my view has changed of this forum.  I always understood Judd's need for talking about his interests, but I have learned that the forum has REAL people with personalities!!!  It has been great to learn of this new family that we have found in this forum.

Okay, I know I get off in tangents A LOT.  So back to the question at hand - "How long before we get Jacey's dog?"

I thought that this would be a question that would be answered in six months.  So I called 4 Paws for Ability and learned more....  Once we complete our fundraising goal of $13,000, we will be sent a letter stating when our class we be.  Since we are having the dog trained in tracking and retrieving, it will be approximately 9 to 12 months out.  Currently it is around nine months.  The reason it takes so long from the time we complete our fundraising is because of more extensive training.

Once we complete the fundraising, we have to send in a very descriptive video all about us.  They want to know our house, how it is laid out, our yard, our neighbors, what dogs live where, what livestock is nearby.  They want to know about all four of my children, about me and my experience with dogs, and they want to know EVERYTHING about Jacey.  They want to know what makes her smile and giggle.  They also want to see her have meltdowns...the bigger the better.  They want to see how Jacey does when we are in public.  The video will be very comprehensive so that they can have two to three dogs picked out that fit our family and Jacey's needs the best.  So, once we complete our fundraising, we will be given a class date and they will choose those two or three dogs based on our video.  They then take those dogs and train them in tracking and retrieving.  That is what the 9 to 12 months comes from.  They want to make sure that the dog they pick for Jacey doesn't have a success rate of 80% in tracking and retrieving.  They want the dog that does it 100% of the time. 

I am so excited to know that we could have our Autism Service Dog home for Jacey within the next twelve months.  Thanks for helping make this possible.  We really appreciate everyone that has donated towards our efforts and passed our story on.  Nine months from the time we complete fundraising for 4 Paws for Ability, we should be on our way out to Ohio to pick up our dog and go through training.  I can't wait!!!

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