Meet Gabe. Gabe is a nine year old energetic, affectionate handsome little boy. He loves running, jumping and playing, just like any other child his age. However, Gabe has autism. And he needs our help.
On the Autism spectrum, Gabe is considered to have “low functioning” Autism. This means that Autism severely affects his day to day life.
Gabe is a nonverbal, high energy child with no fear – he doesn’t understand what might happen to him if he hops of the edge of something, touches something dangerous, wanders away or bolts into traffic.
After much research, Gabe’s parents Derek and Pearl Gagnon have determined that a service dog would not only provide companionship and support to Gabe, but would also help to keep him safe. As published by the Autism Canada Foundation, “When used as part of your child's therapy, Service Dogs can ….. provide increased safety for the child, provide comfort when the child is upset, add a degree of predictability to social settings … reduce social stress levels.” The most important part of this statement, to Pearl and Derek, is the idea that a dog could help keep their child safe.
Pearl has become active in supporting and raising awareness with the Pawsitive Independent Autism Service Dogs of Saskatchewan. The problem? The service dogs cost money. A lot of money. The cumulative costs to purchase and train a service dog, including the boarding and puppy raiser team expenses for two years of specialized training, and the vet costs within this training period, are estimated to be around $25-30,000.
We are planning a fundraising evening at the Adobe Inn in Martensville on September 27, 2014 to help raise money for Gabe’s service dog. So how can you help? We are asking for local businesses to consider contributing an item to the raffle draw. Or make a cash donation – anything you can do to help!
Please, take part in helping to increase the quality of Gabe’s life, keep him safer, and make life maybe just a little bit easier for Gabe and his family!