Gabe has autism and needs a well-trained companion dog to help with anxiety, depression, and sensory needs.** Help a kid out!
In a lot of ways, Gabe seems like your typical kid - loves hockey, video games, texting, his cats, even his little brother. And, like lots of kids, he's been a long time wanting a "doggo".
What many wouldn't realize is that Gabe also lives with autism.
High-functioning individuals like Gabe often deal with depression and anxiety along with the sensory and developmental issues inherent in autism. Despite our best efforts through medical and various other supports, the past year has been particularly rough. Recently, it was suggested to us that Gabe might benefit greatly from the addition of a service, therapy, or companion dog to our household.** We looked into applying for an autism service dog, but wait lists are years long (if not outright closed), and organizations are often geared towards younger and/or more severely affected individuals. Our best option, therefore, would be to adopt a suitable dog ourselves and put it through training with Gabe as handler. We are also looking into the possibility of official therapy dog certification after training.
Catch #1: We have asthma and allergies in our household, and will need to get a hypoallergenic breed.
Catch #2: Said hypoallergenic breed must also be highly trainable.
Catch #3: Catch #1 + Catch #2 = a bit more expense than our three SPCA kitty adoptions!
We've done our research as a family; decided on a breed (labradoodle comes highly recommended); and taken into consideration the estimated cost for a puppy, shipping, and training in setting our goal. We may adjust our goal if necessary; however, any funds raised in excess of these expenses will go into an account towards future costs and care. We are hoping to put our plan in motion by the spring, but are monitoring breeder sites for earlier litters.
Thanks in advance for any help you can give - shares included. You'll be making life better for one awesome kid.
Direct from The Boy himself: "I've been wanting a doggo for years now, and if this GoFundMe gets enough money, our family will be able to bring a new pet into the house that not only I need, but our whole family wants. Please donate IF you can. ❤"
**In case you're wondering how a dog can help someone like Gabe, check out this link - mainly focused on anxiety, but the purpose and results are the same.
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