One month ago after we had done a lot of research on a service dog for Mason, and what that could look like for him, checked into all different types of services, companies and non profits. Talked about if we could ever afford to do this for our son and how we could. We were skeptical, and hopeful. After feeling like every route I went to, wasn’t the right fit, and I couldn’t figure out why. Nerves, money, etc.. I wasn’t sure we would be able to make this a reality for him. It seemed like it was too far out of reach.
I was spending another evening searching for companies, ways to fundraise and how to get a mobility service dog. I stumbled upon Providing Pawsable. I saw she was active on her Instagram, I decided to message her. I sent her a long message explaining what Mason’s condition was, what we knew he needed, what type of dog he would need, and wanted to know if she could help. She responded saying, she not only could help, but she also has the same condition as Mason. She also said she had JUST talked to a lady who was looking to rehome her one year old bernedoodle service dog. We knew we had been drawn to contact providing pawsable, so that ADA could be Masons dog.
Nothing was for sure, because we weren’t sure how we would even come close to being able to pay for ADA. We decided to jump head first into the whole thing. Fundraising, learning everything we could about service dogs, how we could incorporate ADA into Masons life, wellbeing, school, everything. We set up the Go fund me with extremely low expectations. Within one week we have 3 fundraisers set up, and had already hit our halfway point to our goal. We exceeded our goal, and can pay for ADA and the travel costs to bringing her here, the gear she needs, the food, grooming everything. This community has surpassed every expectation we had. We can’t believe that in 2 weeks Mason gets to meet ADA. They will start training together, and learning each others needs, and personalities. By school next year, ADA should be with Mason full time, everywhere he goes, even to school.
I reached out to Deb, ADAs current handler, because I wanted in her words, why she was rehoming ADA. I want to be sensitive to her feelings through all of this, and I knew Deb would do an amazing job at explaining! This is what she said :
“A bajillion years ago, when dinosaurs roamed and I was working on my thesis, I learned the efficacy of service dogs for invisible disabilities. I learned the value of allowing task trained help to do what you can not do, or maybe forget to do, for yourself. I learned that disabled is mislabeled and teams are always stronger.
Roughly 15 years later, I started down the path of getting the help I need. Again. It took me about 2 years to assess my needs and look for my own service dog. With a possible task list of over fifty ways I could be helped on the daily, I choose a Bernedoodle based on general breed characteristics. When ADA was born on the 29th anniversary of the American Disabilities Act being signed into law, I knew my pup was born.
I choose carefully and with guidance. I left her in puppy school. I brought her home and bonded and send her off to boarding school. We moved and Corona happened.
No outings and no more in person training. I felt isolated and overwhelmed by my inability to effectively train, to speak canine. My last service dog, over ten years ago, came with 18months of training. This was different . I found help through Providing Pawsable.
And, peace. I could talk to Rebekah about my grief that we weren’t a “fit”, this nebulous thing I couldn’t quite pinpoint.
One day I said, “I feel like I’m married to my gay best friend. I mean, we love each other. We help each other. We are good with each other and we still are not a match. What am I doing wrong?”
Rebekah helped me see I was doing NOTHING wrong. ADA was also not wrong. And sometimes it was just that way.
Everything I learned helped me to understand the tasks that would help me most. So Rebekah helped me start planning for my next service dog, given the life I actually live, not the lifestyle I want to live. We started planning so I could transition both ADA and me, when we found our true partners, preferably about the same time. 🙂
Then Mason. And all my plans to keep ADA for me until my new companion was ready? They went out the window.
The time is fast approaching for me to bring her to boarding school so she can be his. I am thrilled for them both. It’s an honor and privilege to be a part of this beautiful match. Am I sad for me? Yes. A lot. Often. And also peaceful and hopeful. I’m dancing with it all. And I feel strongly that doing what is best for the greater good makes my life better too, even while I grieve.
Thank you for asking. Thank you for letting me share. Thank you for fighting for your Boyo and for finding us.”
I can’t say enough about the level of gratitude we have in our hearts. How blown away we are by our amazing community, and how thankful we are for Providing Pawsable, and ADA’s handler Deb. What Deb is doing for our family is something I have no words to truly put it perfectly, but that will forever change the course of Mason’s life. The acts of kindness, and the amount of love and support we have all received will forever be something that will have a major impact on our lives, on our kids lives, and the way we raise them. Kindness, love and generosity is always the path that we want to be on.
ADA is named after the American Disabilities Act. Her birthday is on the day that Service dogs were signed into the ADA. So her name is in all capitals, and will stay that way. We love it, and its an amazing way to educate people on the history.
Thanks for being on this journey with us,
until next time..