Letter from Mineral’s Service Dog

Welcome to the March 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting With Special Needs

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how we parent despite and because of challenges thrown our way. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

***

Previously on Cinco de Mommy: My son, “Mineral,” has special needs.

Animal just looked at this pic and said, "Wow, he looks like Abraham Lincoln!"

Ever since Megan the Service Dog trainer determined that Mineral would NOT benefit from a service dog — or wouldn’t benefit enough to warrant the investment of time, money and energy — I’ve been dreaming that she was wrong and a dog would help him.

And, honestly, if I had $20,000 to pay, I could probably find a Service Dog company that would give us a trained dog. Indeed, there are several companies that train dogs for children with psychiatric issues, sensory processing disorder and autism. And while his special needs don’t fit into a precise label or box, he has some aspects of those disorders.

Sometimes I get lost thinking about what he needs from a service dog. And what we as a family need in order to add a Service Dog to our mix of five homeschooled kids in a rental house with a large fish tank — as well as another dog.

In my fantasy, the Service Dog would arrive on our doorstep one morning. He — I imagine it’s a he, and after doing my research on Service Dogs, I imagine him as either a Labrador retriever or a golden retriever — would have a note with him:

Hi there! (credit: pmarkham/Flickr)

Dear Family,

I am a Service Dog for Mineral. My name is Lego (because I was trained to help Mineral, and he loves Legos). I can do the following: help get him out of the house by exercising me, help him focus by working with me — and also distract him from his obsession with media or when he’s going to have media.

Although I am Mineral’s Service dog, I will appreciate some attention and love from the other children. Also from Maizey, the Dog Without a Downside. I will play with her –hopefully I can be a positive influence and she’ll stop barking her head off every time the baby is taking a nap.

Remember, I need to be brushed, washed and groomed regularly. I need to eat twice a day and have access to fresh water that the baby doesn’t play in. I need to see a vet once a year and take heart-worm prevention and flea/mosquito/tick repellent. I am a living creature and I am Mineral’s responsibility. Owning me, he will learn some empathy, which I know he lacks.

In return, I will stay by his side. When he is having an outburst and needs to calm down, he can pet me and/or talk to me. When he’s relaxed, I will sit by his feet while he does school work, or eats his meals.

(credit: Calsidyrose/Flickr)

I will bark to remind him of things. Bark! Sit down at the table with the rest of the family. Bark bark! Don’t aim weapons at people or animals or other living things. Bark bark bark! Wash your hands and change your clothes. Paw on his leg — stop compulsively licking your face. Jump on his chest — stop talking about MEDIA.

I know that every day with him is different, and most days are very challenging. I hope I can make him smile and ease his mind of his anxieties and compulsive thoughts — and behaviors. I aim to mitigate his outbursts, particularly the violent ones.

I know that Mineral has speech therapy, cognitive/behavioral therapy, occupational therapy and takes psychiatric medication. I hope I can complement those therapies and see you implement the most helpful suggestions and solutions.

And also, since you’re going to pay $20,000 for me and still have to pay for my food and dog toys and treats, I will bark four times after I finish vacuuming the entire house, mopping the kitchen and cleaning the bathrooms.

Sincerely,

Lego

***

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon March 13 with all the carnival links.)

25 Responses

  1. […] Letter from Mineral’s Service Dog — Erika at Cinco de Mommy imagines the letter that accompanies her special needs son’s Service Dog. […]

  2. […] Letter from Mineral’s Service Dog — Erika at Cinco de Mommy imagines the letter that accompanies her special needs son’s Service Dog. […]

  3. […] Letter from Mineral’s Service Dog — Erika at Cinco de Mommy imagines the letter that accompanies her special needs son’s Service Dog. […]

  4. LOL I wonder how much people would pay for a dog who does the housework😉 I had no idea that service dogs could be trained to help with individuals on the autism spectrum, I’d love to learn more about it!

  5. awwwww, Lego sounds like an amazing dog, I wish I had $20,000 to help you too. I never even thought about a service dog for helping my SPD daughter, she is still very young though (not even yet 3) and while they think she may have some other underlying issues they have yet to be diagnosed.

  6. […] Letter from Mineral’s Service Dog — Erika at Cinco de Mommy imagines the letter that accompanies her special needs son’s Service Dog. […]

  7. […] Letter from Mineral’s Service Dog — Erika at Cinco de Mommy imagines the letter that accompanies her special needs son’s Service Dog. […]

  8. […] Letter from Mineral's Service Dog — Erika at Cinco de Mommy imagines the letter that accompanies her special needs son's Service Dog. […]

  9. I wonder if you might be able to apply to one of these companies to adopt a retired service dog? http://www.dogchannel.com/dog-sidebar-articles/whereretireessidebar.aspx It looks like there would be a longer wait but I think if you shared this post and Mineral’s story you might find what you are looking for. I wish you luck and I hope that some day you do find the perfect dog for Mineral because Lego sounds like a wonderful dog.

  10. What a wonderfully creative post! I found it so interesting. Lego sure gave us (the readers) a bit of insight into life with Mineral in his letter. I hope that somehow a service dog finds his way to you.

  11. I think that Lego would be a great fit for you family. I didn’t realize how expensive service dogs were. Good luck with the therapy and finding processes that work for your family.

  12. […] Letter from Mineral’s Service Dog — Erika at Cinco de Mommy imagines the letter that accompanies her special needs son’s Service Dog. […]

  13. […] Letter from Mineral’s Service Dog — Erika at Cinco de Mommy imagines the letter that accompanies her special needs son’s Service Dog. […]

  14. […] Letter from Mineral’s Service Dog — Erika at Cinco de Mommy imagines the letter that accompanies her special needs son’s Service Dog. […]

  15. […] Letter from Mineral’s Service Dog — Erika at Cinco de Mommy imagines the letter that accompanies her special needs son’s Service Dog. […]

  16. […] Letter from Mineral’s Service Dog — Erika at Cinco de Mommy imagines the letter that accompanies her special needs son’s Service Dog. […]

  17. Oh funny! I would LOVE a service dog for my girls too! My main concern is safety and a dog would at least alert us that the rascal escaped!
    Stopped by from the Carnival, if you get a chance stop by and say hi.

  18. […] Letter from Mineral’s Service Dog — Erika at Cinco de Mommy imagines the letter that accompanies her special needs son’s Service Dog. […]

  19. Erika, your posts often blow me away. I mean, I know you studied creative writing but this is serious talent. =) I’m rooting for Mineral to get a dog, too; I was thinking about it today in the shower; ‘how can we get mineral a dog?’ and then BRILLIANT! Commenter above suggests a retired dog. Hello! So great.

    Mainly I just want to say props, momma. Parenting a special needs child is no picnic. You do it with grace. And tons of humour. Eating a dog biscuit to raise money for your kid? All kinds of awesome. xo

    And p.s. love the new look. Your blog had a facelift!

Comments? Thoughts? Streams of Consciousness?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 451 other followers

%d bloggers like this: