Some of the amzing famlies we have met and helped have come to us from the most unexpected circumstances! We were thrilled to meet the Cooney family when they walked through our doors looking for advice on getting a puppy for their son. We did more than just offer advice and we worked with them and their son to find a great dog for their family and assist with the training. We not only gained a wonderful family for our group to work with but some great friends!
This is what they had to say so kindly about their experience with us:
"I would like to relate to you the amazing experience my family and I had with the volunteers at Pawisitive Independence. About two years ago our son Kyle was diagnosed as having high functioning autism. the transition for my wife Iris and teenage daughter Makalea was proving difficult as Iris and I despite our best efforts were just basically making it up as we went along.
A friend in Ireland was telling us about therapy dogs and we thought it might be a good fit for Kyle. We paid a deposit on a pup and thought we should enquire about training. quite by chance we paid a visit to Kristine O'Brien at Paws Republic and told her our story. Kristine introduced us to Joan, Pearl, Amanda and all the other volunteers with P I. It was here that we began to be educated and enlightened. We thought any boy and any dog would be a good match but the team assured us that the dog we chose was not the right fit for us. From here on in we were amazed at the work ethic and commitment of everyone who were in point of fact strangers to us and us strangers to them.
A huge effort was made which involved meeting and getting to know Kyle and all of us and temperament testing puppies until the right dog was found at Dunrovin Kennels. Then amazing advice and tips were given to us on how to ready Kyle and our home for our new dog. When we got Bailey it was a big adjustment for Kyle as his sensory issues meant that the love and fun of a puppy were overpowering for him.
The team at P I now seemed to double their efforts as the time to begin training drew close. Over the course of a full year Bailey grew in to our sons watchful companion, always close but also giving Kyle his space. Bailey began to exert his influence as a therapy dog and indeed social catalyst., with Kyle often inviting people to compliment Bailey.
Through the course of all of this there was no bad time to call any of the team or no question too trivial to be answered. Little by little our son began to allow his dog into his life. Kyle began to grow as a person and we saw and heard things that amazed us.
Earlier this year my family moved back to Ireland, Kyle told us he would miss all the people at P I. Then a few days later he was playing fetch with Bailey at a pond, on returning home he drew a picture of himself and Bailey coloured it in and wrote their names. For a child who never had a close relationship with anyone other than his family and struggles to hold a pencil these were amazing achievements. Such was the influence Bailey was having we never even gave a second thought to the four thousand dollars it cost to transport him to Ireland.
The separation by a continent did not stop the team at P I from checking in by phone and email to see how things were going and to offer helpful advice.
I cannot recommend everyone involved with PI highly enough and my family and I owe them a debt we can never repay.
We have seen our son learn what it is to care and be cared for and he now tries to involve bailey in his games, the latest of which involves taking selfies of the two of them. Without the help of P I this would not be possible, I implore you to help them in any way you can as to meet such a group of selfless individuals is a once in a lifetime happening.