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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Service Dog Match!

So we started the process of getting Korban's service dog back in April of 2014, but until recently we didn't know which dog he would wind up with. We've met several and liked them all. Mr. Charles likes for the child and the dog to pick each other, and that made a lot of sense to us. I didn't want to get in the way and try to influence the process. It's hard because I now know the difference these dogs can make and I want that so bad for Korban.  Patience is something I struggle with but have had no choice but to develop the skill set.  The process of getting a service dog is a long journey but we have been very grateful for the moments along the journey thus far and look forward to the ones ahead of us.

About a month ago, Korban and I went to visit Retrieving Freedom. Charles had told us about a black lab he has named Jet. Jet turned two on Valentine's Day and has been doing fabulous with his training. He's everything Korban needs in a dog: smart, social, and as Charles said, "bulletproof." So he had Jet out for us to meet. Korban walked right up to him and said "This gonna be my dog."  Well. That was easy, right? ;). Jet didn't seem to have any objections and Charles said we would start working them together. 

Here's some photos of them together the day they met: 



I love this picture!


And this one because Korban had his arm on Jet. :)




I am a horrible photographer and Jet totally blends into that dark rug, but look at Korban's happy face.


Here they are walking together. Korban did a pretty good job holding his leash!


We even got to play outside. Naturally, Jet loves to retrieve things and he also loves the water. Korban got a huge kick out of throwing things into the water for Jet to fetch. Charles told me that Jet's foster home had a pool and they let the dogs swim in it. So now I'm trying to convince Brad that Jet NEEDS a pool. I'm sure Jet wouldn't mind sharing with the rest of us, right? ;)

We also got to visit with Jet again at the Hernando library a few weeks ago. Korban was very excited to see him again (and so was Mom!). 

I tried to get a better picture this time. Charles found a white wall for me to use as a background in hopes that Jet wouldn't blend into it. Ha!  You really can see him better in this picture but it still doesn't do him justice. He's such a beautiful dog, with a very sweet personality. 

Hopefully he can come live with us within the next few months. It's hard to nail down a timeline because we have training and fundraising left to do. I'm wanting it to happen quickly of course--we are SO excited. But I want to make sure I do everything right and know all the things I need to know to take care of Jet and make sure he and Korban have the best relationship possible. Hopefully we can do some weekend visits soon. I feel like we are adding to our family and it's a very happy and hopeful feeling. 

The other day Korban and I had stopped by the grocery store after a doctor's appointment. It was just me and him, and I had to return the grocery cart to the store (we were at Aldi's). I couldn't leave him sitting in the van while I went to turn the buggy in, but I was afraid he would bolt off while I loaded the groceries in the back of the van. I wound up sitting Korban on the bumper of the van and blocking him with my body while I loaded groceries so he couldn't jump down and run off. We made it just fine but I was tense. I just always worry that I'll get distracted for just a second and he will get away from me. But then I took a deep breath and realized that soon we will have Jet, and Korban can stand there tethered to him while I load up the groceries or whatever. Of course, I'll still be on high alert but it will ease my worry. That's so important because Korban can always sense when I'm anxious and it makes his anxiety that much worse. And then I feel guilty. It's a vicious cycle!

God is always faithful!  There is no doubt that He always comes through.  It may not be in our timing, and if it was then it wouldn't be perfect.  We are far from perfect.  God knows how to slow us down when we need it.  Our faith and trust have to be put in the right place.  During this past year there have been difficult moments for sure.  There have been times when there seemed to be no hope.  We would continue in our efforts of praying for situations that seemed to have no answer, and sometimes no answer may BE the answer.  Then, just as with Bolt For Blue in Hernando, God shows up and shows out.  My kids sure do love all of God's creatures.  We are very grateful for the opportunity granted us to be working towards bringing the perfect match into our home to help our Korban in so many ways.  What better way for prayers to be answered than with the aid of Man's Best Friend! God didn't automatically grant us what we needed. There is nothing special about us as parents.  When doors or even windows of opportunity are opened then we have looked for ways to get in.  RFI is definitely  one of those doors that were opened for us.

We are just so thankful that we found Retrieving Freedom and for the work that they do. We can't wait to have Jet home with us and i will try to do a better job keeping everyone posted.  If you would like to donate to Korban and Jet you can do that directly to Retrieving Freedom online right here
 

On the page there is a meter with our funding goal for Korban and then where we are at so far.  We have not pushed the fundraising aspect much due to the unsure aspect of the process.  What if Korban was unable to be paired with a dog or something such as that?  We did not want to have money given towards Korban and a service dog, then it not happen.  Well now it is for real I tell you!  Last year Brad's work, Region IV, held a fundraiser during Autism Awareness month.  That is the first big amount.  Then the second amount is from when Hernando High chose Korban to sponsor and help with funds towards the service dog.  Then very graciously a company in Alabama chose to help with a very generous donation.  Now as we close in on the final touches of working with Jet to bring him home we need your help to finish out our fundraising goal here.  Please consider that even a small amount means a lot! 
 
Thanks in advance!  Love you guys.