We are writing to tell you how happy we are with Loki, Ruthie’s ASD Service Dog. We envisioned what we would like and Loki exceeded all our hopes! He quickly adapted and has become a significant part of the family – like he’s been here for years. He has already, in the almost 3 weeks we’ve had him, helped Ruthie settle at times and with redirection from the struggles of simple tasks like hair brushing to more difficult experiences such as the dentist. We will be working on blocking and searching for Ruthie soon. Their bond is getting stronger daily.
We would also like to compliment your organization and your team. From the very beginning, during our initial phone conversation, you were clear and straight forward about the entire process. There were no surprises along the way. All my emails were responded to by your team promptly and all questions were answered clearly with assurance that I could call or email if I needed more assistance. SDWR’s professionalism, knowledge and dedication to the dogs, families, volunteers and disabilities themselves are most commendable.
We look forward to our continued work with SDWR along this journey! Having the added stress of the disabilities and knowing we have support from SDWR and from the dogs themselves adds a huge sense of security, not just as an added tool, but as a fluffy family member who is full of affection and love and loves their person just as they are.
“Cheri left us last night and today is our first day alone with Toby. In the car today, Merrick had a meltdown. I asked him if he needed to count as this will break him from being focused on what is causing the melt down and help him stay calm. He counted to three (usually counts to 20), stopped, and asked “Can I pet Toby?” I was amazed. I directed Toby to Merricks car seat and he went and kissed Merrick while Merrick petted him. It was such a breakthrough.”
“While Merrick was in school, I took my second son for his first run at the park ♥ he absolutely loved it. And I have to admit, it was very therapeutic for me. As a mom, always crying for a child with special needs and working full time, it’s hard to decompress. Toby is such a miracle worker for us.”
“I’m writing to update you on our satisfaction with SDWR and how much Charlie has enriched our lives in his role as an Autism Service Dog. As of today, Charlie has been with us 18 months. From the first day of delivery, Charlie respected Rebecca’s differences and understood she needed a different approach from the other kids. He was drawn to her without any specialized training to do so and knew just how to make his introduction, as if he had read a book about children withautism. Their relationship has grown over the past 18 months. When we travel he is often on her lap in the car and making her burst out in laughter. When we go out in public her behavior is more appropriate and she is less likely to spin, wander, and make random vocalizations. When she has her meltdowns, he is at the ready, willing to intervene, even neutralizing an ongoing tantrum in seconds with a few nudges to the cheek and licks to the face. Mostly commonly I find her with him petting him with her feet as she rests on the sofa or the bed, reading a book, watching TV, or laughing at the visions she sees in her head that I am not aware of.”
“This morning I write to you in relief. A relief that a tired mother of a child on the severe end of the autism spectrum rarely gets. Carter has had nose bleeds for around 3 years. They are bad, he panics when he bleeds and that makes things worse. We have cauterized his nose, we have made trips to the ER, we have been at our wits end. Our biggest problem has been that by the time I am aware of his nosebleeds it is already so bad it is almost impossible to control. Almost two years ago we decided to start the process to get a service dog for Carter. We wanted him to have emotional support, protection from wandering, and help with his aggression. A little over a year ago Happy came home to live with us, and immediately changed our lives. He did all we wanted him to do and MORE!!!! About two weeks after he came Carter had a middle of the night nosebleed. Happy came to my bedside and woke me up. This first time took some prodding by Happy but I finally got up and went to see what was wrong. I found Carter in the hallway covered in blood. The next time Happy came to my bedside I immediately responded and caught a nosebleed before it even woke Carter! A few months ago we added a humidifier to Carter’s room and his nosebleeds stopped! We hadn’t had one in almost 4 months. Then early last week he broke his humidifier. Last night he had a nosebleed. It was awful! What was not awful though, Happy! He alerted me the minute Carter started tossing, turning, and sniffling in bed. It did take me a little longer to react because it had been so long, but he did his job!!! Then he sat right beside Carter through it all, even getting a little blood from Carter’s hands on his yellow coat. He cuddled my boy as I tried to calm him and stop the bleeding. Then when I put Carter into my bed, Happy slept right at the edge closest to Carter for the rest of the night. Carter was able to rest and so was I knowing Happy was on the job! This is not what we signed up for, it is better! I could have never imagined all the ways Happy would learn to support us! He is a gift we treasure, and a support we need! Thank you Dan, trainers, and puppy raisers for making this possible for families like mine!”
“My son, Tripp is able to do so many more things with Jake by his side. And these people have become close friends of ours over the past year. They are genuine and they care. Many of you have seen Jake work on social media. He is amazing and the difference he has made in Tripp’s life is unexplainable.”
“One yr ago today, Bentley got Jake! Our lives change in so many positive ways! We’ve seen so much progress from Bentley! Jake and Bentley have a wonderful bond and it’s been visible ever since day one! I hardly can remember how nervous I was on how this would work and how it would effect our daily lives. Today, it’s like Jake has been with us and our daily routines forever! It was so easy to adjust and totally worth it! Can’t wait to see many more years of this and what their futures hold together as “best buds”. Today and always, #thankful4sdwr”
“Service Dogs by SDWR has become more than a service dog provider to us, you have become a part of our family. We got the idea of a service dog for our two Autistic boys back in January 2015, when our family dog Meeko, a chihuahua, sat next to our 4 year old during a meltdown. He started petting her and immediately stopped crying and screaming. During the next few weeks we continued testing this behavior and every time the same result. I then started searching on the internet and found that there were service dogs for autism. Wow, I was so excited! However, the waiting lists were very long and some companies weren’t even taking any more names at that time. Then I came across Service Dogs by SDWR. It was you that provided hope and guidance that meeting our pledge was attainable. Meeting families I could talk and relate too who already had a service dog by Warren Retrievers, well, after that, I was all in. I knew this was our next step for our boys. We finished our fundraising in two and a half months and Jaxson, our new service dog, was all ours. On our first training day we were able to take our two boys into a store and have lunch. Something we haven’t been able to do since they were babies. Both our boys have a lot of difficulty with transitions, new places, noises and distractions. On the second day of training it was more of the same. I saw calmness, independence, and happy children. SDWR has been so helpful in so many ways. The support they provide is amazing! Cheri, one of the autism service dog trainers, even came to our school to provide support and information at an IEP (individual education plan) meeting. Everyday Jaxson provides something to our family, from riding to school for easier transition to search and rescue, which we are currently working on for our nonverbal 5 year old. The growth that I have seen in both our boys from having Jaxson has been amazing. There has been improved eye contact and speech in both our boys. Our nonverbal child is now singing songs and repeating clips from his favorite movies. And our sensitive- emotional child is finding comfort and peace with his daily activities. Our boys are so young and Jaxson is only a year old as well. I can only imagine what it will look like for us in few years. I am so excited for them and for our future as a family! Thank you SDWR from the bottom of our hearts!”
One yr ago today, Bentley got Jake! Our lives change in so many positive ways! We’ve seen so much progress from Bentley! Jake and Bentley have a wonderful bond and it’s been visible ever since day one! I hardly can remember how nervous I was on how this would work and how it would effect our daily lives. Today, it’s like Jake has been with us and our daily routines forever! It was so easy to adjust and totally worth it! Can’t wait to see many more years of this and what their futures hold together as “best buds”.
“So many people often ask me, ‘What is Romeo’s job? How does he help Olivia?’ This picture says most of it… Olivia had a small cluster of seizures… Romeo laid on top of her chest, nose to nose feeling her breathe, this was after she came around and was wiping drool from her mouth… still with her.. He not only alerts me, but he stays with her the whole time. He also calms her anxiety, prevents elopement and is her very best friend in the whole world….. we love our boy… If you don’t believe in miracles, you haven’t witnessed this moment… A picture speaks a thousand words….. #sdwrstrong