main banner

When-is-a-dog-more-than-just-a-dog

When Is A Dog More Than Just A Dog?

Sometimes animals are more than just pets; so to find out more about the integral part they play in some families, Sharon Myers from Our Wheely Big Journey tells us about their latest addition to the family, Ivy:

“A house is not a home without a dog” and I’m excited to say that in the last week we have had a new four-legged friend join our home.

Now you may say “What’s the big deal about that?” Well, what if I told you that our new four-legged addition to our family was not an ordinary one: She is very special, and is going to make a difference to not only the main man of the house Noah’s life, but the rest of ours in the process.

You see my son Noah has a very rare syndrome called Escobar Syndrome, so rare in fact there are only about 100 cases or so worldwide. The syndrome affects Noah in the physical sense, and means he will be a wheelchair user for all of his life.

When Noah was a one-year old, I heard about an amazing charity called the Dogs for the Disabled who trained dogs to assist people with physical disabilities. I called and put Noah down on the waiting list straight away.

The charity doesn’t get any government funding, so to show that we were serious in wanting to get one of these amazing dogs for Noah, I did a lot of fundraising and volunteering for the charity over the next couple of years: As each dog costs over €15,000 from birth to qualification; I knew I wanted to give them all the help I could get.

This June we got that long awaited phone call that they had got a potential match for Noah; and to get ourselves ready for the new addition to our family. Then on the 23rd of August we welcomed Ivy, a 2-year-old Golden Retriever into our family.

Ivy has some of her training already completed with the trainers at the Dogs for the Disabled headquarters, but over the next 6 months Ivy will be trained very closely with Noah to help him in some everyday tasks e.g. Picking up some items he drops, helping him take off some of his clothing, and getting help if he was to fall.

But these tasks aren’t all Ivy is going to do.

She is going to become a companion for Noah: A distraction for the public when he is out and about with her, an ice-breaker to strike up conversation with those who may be uncomfortable around Noah (which unfortunately is sometimes the case,) and overall will be a fun addition to the family.

Ivy has been with us for a week so far, and it’s been an eventful one: Full of nerves, excitement, sleepless nights and fun. And let’s not forget Ivy is a dog! She barks, poos (yes, my god does she what), licks your face, wakes up incredibly early and isn’t a huge lover of cats.

But one thing is for sure, she is here to stay and we look forward to all the fun times we have ahead with her, and all the adventures she is going to join us on.

All our love

Our Wheely Big Journey

You can follow Noah and Ivy's story, on ourwheelybigjourney's facebook page. To find out more about Ivy's training, and how you can get involved; go to dogsforthedisabled.ie.


About the Author

eumom team 

Comments

Please login to leave a comment.