Sammy the Autism Assistance Dog has become quite a star on The Daily Dog, with a number of people asking for the latest news. Sammy’s mum Rachelle is going to pen a regular update for all the friends of pups4sale, and in the meantime has sent us the following:
“Sammy and Savannah have been together 5 weeks now, Sammy is still not at school mostly due to the fact that we had 2 weeks of holidays and than a new teacher has come into the classroom. But we start our teacher/ dog training next Friday.
Miss H (the teacher) is looking forwad to having him in her classroom. Especially after Savannah had two small seizures at school on Thursday. We went for our first Brisbane Neurologist appointment and Sammy really was the biggest help; he helped steady her down the Mater Hill and kept her with us the whole time. Savannah was relaxed and at home with her best friend and loved showing her nurses and the Dr what he could do.
Sammy searches for Savannah when they have been separated without me telling him to now. He is her constant outside shadow. Since Sammy has arrived we have taken Savannah to the movies, shopping every week, the Toowoomba Markets, parks, and every single time it has been a stress free experience. In the past we would not have attempted a crowded market because trying to keep an eye on Savannah would have been a nightmare; she hated holding our hands, she hated walking with us because of her fierce independence and it would often end with Savannah having a very big melt-down or running away.
Often we heard comments like “what a naughty girl”, “She needs a good smack”, or even better ” they need to discipline that child”. People don’t understand that Savannah has melt-downs because she is over stimulated, over whelmed, not understood because of her lack of words and fine motor skills to be able to use alternate language skills such as signing or PECS, They don’t get that Savannah runs away and can disappear within seconds. She is 10 this year, is 118cm tall and only 17kgs, yet we have always been amazed that this little balance-impaired child can move so fast when she has her mind set on it. We do discipline Savannah, but when an autistic child is having a melt-down, what people don’t understand is that you cannot reason with her until she has calmed down (and she than gets incredibly embarrassed). Since Sammy has been with Savannah, we have only had 1 melt-down in 5 weeks – and that speaks for itself.
But it is still a lot of hard work; we have training to fit in weekly and we still play bonding games with Savannah and Sammy, Cleaning up Sammy’s beautiful hair is a huge job in itself and his diet is not cheap but is it worth it? YES. Every day we see a difference in not only our Savannah but our family has also benefited. I would encourage anyone who is thinking of getting an assistance dog to contact Smart pups. For everyone else there is so much you can do to help Smart pups and their recipient families, You can donate to help with purchasing and training these beautiful dogs. You can become a foster carer for one of their puppies. Smart pups is a not for profit organisation and they do not receive any Government funding at all. We will continue to support Smart pups and their future training for as long as we possibly can because we would like to see more families out there supported.”
Wow! What a great post from Rachelle – and we’re looking forward to many more heart-warming updates on Sammy & Savannah’s journey through life together. If you have a great story about your best friend, we’d love to hear about it too and share it on The Daily Dog or The Weekly Woof. Just contact us to tell us your tale…or should that be tail?!