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pet or no pet
thursday, october 17, 2002

we're looking into a service dog for my son who is autistic. we've been told that service dogs for autistics are proving to be useful to help with the repetitive motions and need to focus and so on. plus taz has sensory issues that an animal might help with. a local woman who trains these animals is willing to work with us on finding an appropriate dog, payments for training, and so on. today she calls and tells me she has found an affordable golden retriever. i must admit i was surprised, but decided to check into hud's take on the whole thing. and, of course, hud being part of the government has to complicate the issue - or at least make it so we have to find lots of info to determine if we should even attempt to get the dog.

so i call my usual contact at the office (the only one who seems to have any sense or know anything about anything we need to know) and ask my questions. her response: she doesn't know if we get to keep our cat, we have to pay a pet deposit, we need to submit a doctor's notice that a dog is needed for him, and the animal must be within the lease restrictions for pets.

er? can you imagine a toy poodle or a scottish terrier being a seeing eye dog? i don't think so!

she tells me to call back and talk to the supervisor. good idea. all this time i thought she was the supervisor.

so call back and the answers i get are completely different. i still need a doctor's verification telling them the child needs an assistance animal and that the animal will help him with certain things - like the spinning, lack of focus, and other issues he has related to his sensory integration/processing issues.

taz has serious processing problems with taste/smell and sensation, and moderate to minor processing problems with auditory. sensory issues include the vestibular system - which is in the area related to dizziness when a normal person spins in one place for an extended length of time, and the proprioceptive system - telling where we are in space and in relation to other things. these are very basic descriptions, there's actually quite a bit more associated with each. i am not completely certain how a dog will help with these things, but i am told that they can and do.

i don't need a pet deposit for the dog, not do i need to get rid of my cat (yay!), and we're not restricted in size like pets are, although she did say they would prefer to keep the animal about a medium size.

we do have to do all the other stuff we had to do for the pet: get the animal spayed/neutered and provide proof, get the animal checked by a vet and make sure it gets its shots, and turn in a picture of it.

this is a relief. we don't have to pay the security deposit for the pet, which is a wonderful break for us poor people. and also means we don't have to save for a long time to get the animal. the other stuff: the spay/neutering, vet's clean bill of health, the shots, we can do over time. so our biggest immediate fees are for the animal itself. the lady who will help us train the dog is willing to take payments.

a working dog in my home. i never thought i'd ever allow a dog in my house again because i'm allergic. but this dog may help taz a lot, it's not a pet. that i can make room for despite my allergies.

site of the moment:
ring of the moment:
sister 2 sister
word of the moment: aura

a subtle sensory stimulus (as an aroma); a distinctive atmosphere surrounding a given source; a luminous radiation ; a subjective sensation (as of lights) experienced before an attack of some disorders (as epilepsy or a migraine); an energy field that is held to emanate from a living being