Not long after turning 3 years old, Mason suffered from physical abuse at his daycare center, a nationally recognized organization with a good reputation. At first we thought that it was an isolated incident and pressed criminal charges. The police officer who came to our home told us that there were "absolutely no doubts" in his mind that "this was not an accident" and later, the woman who did it all but admitted to being physically aggressive with Mason. The bruises and broken blood vessels healed after about 10 days but the lingering damage of her actions still remain. We also sought civil charges but are legally not at liberty to disclose any additional information related to that case.
As the first few weeks passed and we removed Mason from the school's care, it became evident that our child was noticeably different. He was untrusting and nervous, aggressive when he had previously never been. And even just driving past his previous school several months later caused him to be physically sick and scream in fear because he thought that we were taking him back to that school. We needed help.
For the past nearly 6 years he has received care from a psychologist and psychiatrist. He was diagnosed with PTSD and anxiety, among other things . I cannot begin to describe what it feels like to have your innocent child be diagnosed with the same thing that men coming home from war experience.
While medications help to some extent, Mason's physicians have recommended that we get a service dog to hep Mason on a day-to-day basis. No, not an "emotional support antelope" or any of the nonsense animals that you hear about on the news. This dog would be able to alert to cues that Mason is under severe stress and complete actions to help him calm. Currently he picks at his hands and feet until they bleed, is unable to speak due to the increase in his stutter, and becomes paralyzed with fear. The majority of the time these situations occur in the most basic of settings - going to the movies (we don't go at all due to his anxiety), specific instances that are out of the ordinary at school, any event or location with crowds, and generally being in new situations or around new people, etc.
His psychologist said that "Mason’s PTSD at a very early age coupled with ongoing significant anxiety makes him a perfect candidate for a [service] dog. At this point, a support animal will add a comprehensive home-based component to his treatment program which, until this point, has been primarily center-based.”
We have a pet and Lola is a great dog, but this dog will serve an entirely different purpose and function in his life. Lola is smart but is not trained in this way and does not have the temperament to be a service dog.
Any and all funds raised will go toward assisting us to purchase this dog and train her to be a functional dog that will go everywhere with Mason and help him whenever and where ever he needs it. Having another dog will not be inexpensive - she will need vet care, additional trainings, etc. throughout her life and Jason and I are ready to incur those costs.
There are places that could help us get a dog for free but the wait lists are several years long and Mason could really use the help now. We have found a great organization that can help us get a dog and have it trained but could really use your assistance to get us started. Any help you can offer would be appreciated.