Determined to Get Aaron a Dog ~ Jen
I prayed this week for God to help me find ways to not think of food so often. In typical God fashion, He came large.
One of the distractions I can’t talk about yet, because it’s not a done deal and I am still not sure how it will all shake out. The next 48 hours are huge, so if you have prayer space to spare, maybe you could ask the Lord to guide our choices.
The other distraction has my heart full, full, full of love. Remember this post from last year? My good and beautiful friend Lisa wrote that post. Her son Aaron is the apple cheeked bubba in the pictures.
Aaron has autism, but that’s not the thing you need to know about him. He’s smart as a whip and has been since he was born. His eyes are soulful, deep and knowing. He’s careful too, and he knows when enough is enough, which is a lesson most adults are still struggling to learn.
When enough is enough, Aaron does two things: he stays put where he feels safe, or he runs.
If he stays put, even with determination, Lisa and her husband Steve can work with that. The therapists can work with that. The extended family and friends have learned what to do to make experiences less threatening. And we all know that coming to where Aaron feels safe is best for him right now.
But the running is a whole other thing. Aaron is tall and strong for his age, and he’s only going to grow. He can get out, over and through, just like any other boy his age. It scares the heck out of Lisa and Steve what could happen one day if he got away. Away into the street, or across a parking lot, or some place where he couldn’t tell people who he is.
So, because Lisa and Steve are very determined folks, an idea took shape. What if Aaron had a companion dog?
Lisa and Steve already have a dog, Mia. She is one of Aaron’s best friends. But Mia can’t be the companion Aaron needs because even though she loves her some Aaron, she’s the size of a sandwich.
Aaron needs a big dog. And these are the things Lisa dreams a dog could be to Aaron:
A highly trained and calm Autism service dog won’t be placing demands on Aaron the way that people in his life do. The dog can help convey the message to Aaron that he is good enough as he is, Autism or no Autism. A dog doesn’t judge behaviors. He doesn’t mind if you flap your hands, spin in circles, repeat lines from movies or spell the same words over and over again. He will probably wag his tail when you eat peanut butter sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He won’t mind that you refuse to wear your scratchy school uniform and cry every time you have to take a bath. He might even distract you by being silly so that you can do the things you need to do. And, when you lay on the floor in public, because you’re overwhelmed, he won’t care about disapproving looks from strangers. In fact, he might just lick your face, nudge you to get up, and remind you that there is nothing to fear.
Last week she found out that they have been approved to get a dog from the good folks at Good Dog! Autism Companions, probably a golden retriever or yellow Labrador.
It takes…are you ready…$12,000 to train a dog like this. Well, we can’t expect a special dog for a special boy to come cheap. It’s just what it is. And as Lisa told me “Aaron WILL get a dog. We WILL make this happen.”
Lisa launched the fundraising page for Aaron on Monday at about 12:30. You know what happened next? Within 24 hours, over $3000 were donated. As of yesterday, it was $6600. It’s been blowing our minds. It’s a lot of love and determination.
Lisa and Steve are determined to provide the best environment for their son to be who he is meant to be.
Their family, friends and complete strangers are determined to make this happen for them.
We want to invite you to join in. Like the Church says, we can use our Time, Talent or Treasure, whatever we have to give.
Lisa, Steve and Aaron could use a prayer.
They could use all of us spreading the word on our social media sites.
And of course, they could use some of the money we set aside for just this type of thing.
Aaron needs an Angel. Can you help?
I am still doing the Made to Crave bible study online and “Determination” was our word of the week. It became clear as the week went on that the word was not for my diet or my Bible study. It was for this effort. I apologize to the MTC community for being a bit off-topic, but this is where God took me this week: away from my pantry and scale and towards all the good in the world!