In a nutshell:
My dog, Jordan, was a huge part of my support when I lived in the USA with chronic illness. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I lost her, and while I am still going through the grief process I have also had time to realize how much she helped me.
I am now researching breeders and looking to raise funds for a new dog, either as a pet who is instrumental in supporting me, or as a service dog to be trained for public access.
Potential service dog tasks will be: medical alert/response, and light mobility.
I will most likely raise the dog as a service dog in training. It takes up to two years to train a service dog fully, and whether I end up needing the dog for public access by then or just for at home support, I will still have a great dog which will be a huge support to me even as a puppy and during the raising/training process.
You can read the background details below, or skip ahead to “A New Dog” for the shorter detailed version!
The one “person” who was my biggest support (apart from Jesus!) while I was sick and bed bound the majority of the time from 2015 onwards was my dog, Jordan. I still remember meeting her at the shelter in October 2014. She put her paws up on me gently and touched me with her nose, looking straight into my eyes. The shelter volunteers commented on how quickly she seemed to connect with me. Circumstances meant that I waited another 4 months before bringing her home. Jordan waited in the shelter that whole, even getting sent to prison to be trained there with an inmate! I felt Jordan was a gift from God for me, and her name reminded me of the river Jordan, full of life, yet going lower still (if you've been to Mozambique or heard Heidi Baker speak, you'll know what I mean!)
Jordan was my constant companion, giving me motivation to get out of bed every day and move (even if it is hard to move for a chronically ill person, and even if it exacerbates symptoms, it’s important to do in order to prevent more muscle atrophy as well as prevent symptoms from getting worse). I spent much more time outside in the fresh air than I would have if I didn’t have Jordan. Her personality was also just so goofy and happy all the time, too! She would get my laughing multiple times daily, jump up on me and comfort me when I needed it, lay or sit on me when I needed it, and also let me sleep in to midday if I needed it. She was the perfect dog for me!
Jordan was supposed to follow me to Australia this year, once I found a safe place to live. However, things happened, and I ended up losing her.
When I found out at the end of March that she would not be coming to join me, the stress caused me to go into a longer multiple months relapse - I couldn’t restart DNRS - and it delayed my healing even more. I had worked so hard for Jordan to be able to rejoin me, but it wasn’t going to happen.
A New Dog
The finances from the sale of my car in the USA, which I had hoped to use to bring Jordan home, have now been used up on rent and living expenses, and I am unable to work like I had hoped to on moving back to Australia. I am in the process of applying for disability (a long, complicated process), and while I am still going through the grief process about Jordan, I have been thinking for a few months now about my need for a dog at least for support at home, maybe even as a service dog.
If I do end up needing a service dog (“assistance dog” in Australia), the dog’s tasks would be related to medical alert, medical response, and light mobility. It would take me 18 months to 2 years to train a new puppy to the standard of helping me. If I don’t end up needing a service dog for public access by then, a well-trained dog will still be super helpful for me at home and in helping me heal.
However, dogs in Australia, whether from the shelter or a reputable, responsible breeder, are much more expensive than my experience in the USA. Most likely I’ll be looking at a dog from a breeder, just because of my specific needs and wanting to be able to socialize the dog well from the start.
I’m hoping to raise $2700 USD (4000 AUD) for the cost of buying a suitable puppy from the right breeder. I have researched and have a breeder picked out for 4 different possible breeds, and they might have pups available by the end of the year.
Any excess funds will go towards start-up and on-going costs for the dog.
GiveSendGo charges no fees to use their site. Stripe, their payment processor, charges a standard 2.9% +$.30 per transaction.
Thank you for your generosity!
No gallery images have been added.