Coming soon…to a home near….us!

I’d like to introduce Heather, our soon-to-be family dog.  Heather comes to us via Summit Assistance Dogs, a local non-profit organization that trains dogs for assisting folks with special needs.  I don’t have “special needs”, per se, but our five-year-old son, Brighton, does.

You see, Brighton has cerebral palsy.  Don’t know what that is?  You’re in good company.  I bet you’ve heard of it, though.  Most folks have.  A simple description would be this: cerebral palsy (C.P.) is brain damage that occurs before, during, or after birth.  Pretty generic, I know, but the point is that C.P. isn’t a disease that you contract, or some sort of genetic disorder.  It happens, and it cannot be “discovered” before birth, as many other conditions can.  C.P. also is very far from being consistent.  Some folks are severely crippled with C.P., while others are able to function almost perfectly normally, as we might typically define it.

All that said, my son has special needs.  He uses a wheel chair, he has hearing aids in both ears, he has limited use of his right hand, and he is unable to walk.  Who knows if any of those conditions will change over time.  Those things being as they are, we decided some time ago to look into assistance dogs — both for his help, and for our sanity.

Anyhow, Summit Assistance Dogs has been awesome to work with!  They train only a few dogs each year, and we’ll feel fortunate (and blessed!) to be a recipient.  Heather will not be an “assistance dog” in the truest sense, because the assistance that our son can receive as a five-year-old is somewhat limited.  She will be a great companion to him (and all of us), though, and we’re looking forward to that.  We’re also anxiously awaiting to see if she might help him sleep better through the night, in picking up things that he drops (all the time!), helping him move properly in his wheelchair, and just “being a friend”.  I’m sure that her helpfulness will only increase as he gets older.

Thanks for reading through this more-personal-than-usual posting.  Have a great day!


2 Responses to “Coming soon…to a home near….us!”

  1. 1 Josh September 19, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    Thanks for sharing. :o) I’ll be sure to pray for Brighton. I was marginally aware of C.P., I didn’t know that improvement was a possibility, so I’m very glad to hear that! (I think that’s what you’re inferring when you talk about things changing?) I’m also glad that he has a new friend in Heather. I was an only-child and my only “brother” was my dog Benji and he definitely was my best friend. I was fortunate to have him from the time I was four, until I was nineteen. Dogs are great. :o)

  2. 2 yipcanjo September 19, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    I guess when I say “improvement”, I mean the basic stuff that people learn. Walking, talking, reading, etc. are all things that all of us have to learn, but it’s taking him longer. Otherwise, his C.P. won’t ever get “better”, per se. The damage is done and cannot be reversed, save for a miracle — which I *do* believe in! 🙂

    Look out for an update on Heather shortly.

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