OK. This post is about 1-1/2 months overdue on this blog, but Christian’s service dog, Pixar, is here!

There has been LOTS of adjusting for ALL of us, but things are going well.

This is Christian's favorite picture of himself and Pixar. (This was taken on the first day that she visited us at our house.)

Christian and Pixar in public access training. Christian is starting to get the hang of holding onto a leash.

Pixar in her stylin' autism service dog vest and puzzle piece collar.

I haven’t written much about Pixar on our family blog, but she has a whole separate blog devoted to our journey in bringing her into our family. You can visit that blog at http://paws4christian.wordpress.com . We also have a Facebook page titled, “Paws 4 Christian”. It is an open group. Feel free to join if you’d like to continue to receive updates about our adventures with an autism service dog.


Yeah, that’s right!  Things have been a bit crazy around here!  I have wanted to blog, but I didn’t.  Then I let myself feel guilty for not blogging, which brought my mood down, which led me to want to write, but not wanting to be a downer, henceforth, I did not write, which led to guilt (and run-on sentences) … vicious, stupid cycle! 😦

Anyway …  we made it through the end of the school year, field trips, concerts, swim/dance lessons, lack of therapists, constant schedule changes, etc. and into the summer, which means many things…

*I have gone back to work at a local produce farm for 4hrs each week.  It’s scheduled time out of the house, working hard, putting fresh, chemical-free produce into our frig on a weekly basis.  I enjoy it and the reminder that it brings me as to where our food comes from and how difficult it is to grow the food and grow it well.  Now if I could only keep our own garden weeded! 😉

*All of Christian’s new therapists are now fully trained! 🙂 Whew!  We might actually have a month where we make all of our required hours for the state! (80+hrs/month)  I feel, again, that our senior therapist has put together a good team who all seem to work well with Christian. (Thanks, BB!) [insert sigh of relief here!] I am thankful to God for bringing these new, wonderful people into Christian’s life (and for those who have been with us for awhile). 🙂

*Olivia is playing t-ball again this summer.  Her first practice/game was cancelled due to stormy weather.  She was disappointed, but now can’t wait for next week to roll around. 🙂  (Read about Christian’s adventures with softball here.)

*The kids have been out fishing with Brian at the nearby ponds a few times already.  Nothing like fresh fish sticks! 😉  (Read about our Father’s Day fishing adventure here.)  There is hope for many more successful fishing expeditions this summer! 🙂

*I’ve been attempting more home-baked goods lately: adding fish to our menu twice/week, homemade granola, crockpot yogurt, banana oatmeal cookies, rhubarb sauce, jam, etc.  Everything seems to taste that much better without the extra junk that is sometimes dumped into mass-produced foods. 🙂  Yum!

*The kids have been enjoying our fresh strawberries.  The berries have been slow going this year because of the cooler weather, but they are delicious and unlike most store-bought berries, are juicy and red ALL the way through! 🙂

*I have become an auntie twice in the last month(ish) to two beautiful nieces. 🙂  I love you, girls!

*I have also received a lesson in lawn tractor driving, so no longer have an excuse not to help keep the lawn under control.  (And I have learned from my mistakes!)

*Christian has fallen in love with Dr. Seuss books on his iPad.  He loves them all, but his favorite is “The Cat in the Hat.” 🙂  He has grown so fond of them that when I put the iPad to bed at night, Christian gets out the actual Dr. Seuss books and reads them instead.  (He has pretty much memorized “The Cat in the Hat” and also often walks about the house saying, “My father can read big words, too.  Like … Constantinople and Timbuktu.” from “Hop on Pop.” 🙂 ) Christian has also taken to dressing like the Cat, often wearing a tall hat and bow tie.  He’s SO cute! 🙂  (Although, yesterday afternoon he came running out of the bathroom wearing only the bow tie.  I was glad that I was the only one home at the time and enjoyed at good laugh 🙂 before I had to deal with the mess that was left behind. 😦 )

Christian as the Cat in the Hat (minus the bow tie)

Christian as the Cat in the Hat, minus his blue bow tie. 😉

*Christian totally misses school and the bus.  Daily.  Then he gets super mad at me when I can’t produce them.  😦  I’m praying that this phase passes soon!

*Christian is also still trying to get his top teeth to poke through his gums.  Painful for him.  Hard on the rest of us.  Sometimes aggression is involved.  Sometimes my food is declared “garbage” and quickly tossed in the trash after just being plated.  We are surviving on lots of deep breaths and silent prayers.  (And gum numb-er, stuff that is even more effective than orajel!)

*Pixar, Christian’s service dog, continues to do well with training at the Compassionate Paws training facility.  (Pixar will come home with us at the end of September!)  Vicki, the trainer, just started a blog about the goings on at the ranch.  You can check it out at http://compassionatepaws.blogspot.com

I have been waiting (impatiently) for Christian’s service dog fundraising to begin.  I was actually waiting for his name to appear on the Compassionate Paws website so that we could start direct donations.  (Want to check out Christian’s page?  Click here.)

If you’d like to see our events, check out our service dog blog 😉 HERE.

I am happy dancing, cartwheeling, and smilin’ from ear to ear this morning!  This is GREAT!  Woo-hoo!!!!  😀

(If you want to help us spread the word and are on Facebook, please join our open group PAWS 4 CHRISTIAN and pass the word along to others.  Thanks!!!)

We received the news this morning (when I first checked my email), that Christian (and our family) has been approved for a service dog!  [Feel free to insert joyous happy dancing here!]  We are totally excited! 

And now I’m starting to feel a little bit nervous.  You can read more about our next steps here.  🙂

OK.  We did it.  We finally submitted the application paperwork to get Christian a service dog.  Now we will wait for approval.  I have to admit that I’m a little anxious.

I also started a new blog to particularly follow that journey — http://paws4christian.wordpress.com


After much thinking and talking (and compromising (like who will be in charge of poo duty (that would be me!))), we have decided to pursue getting a service dog for Christian!  We have to lay our egos aside, step out in faith, and just DO this.  Having a service dog would be a HUGE benefit for Christian, but also be a big help for the rest of us as well.

But, first thing first — finishing the application.  I’m hoping to get it in the mail by the end of next week.  Then we need to be approved by the service dog organization’s board of directors.  If that all happens, we will be fundraising like crazy.  I’m new to fundraising, but I really believe that it can and will be done.  We have lots of people willing to help already and the paperwork is still swirling around on our computer.  😉 

I can just picture Christian with a service dog and just bonding.  That in and of itself would be a most amazing thing!  🙂

I have toyed with the idea of getting a service dog for Christian.  The idea is on the back burner for now as Brian has some serious concern over fundraising that amount of money.  His concerns are legit, as I have never fundraised before and am not the kind of person who finds it easy to ask for any help, nevertheless money. 

How to do it?  Who do you ask?  What happens if we can’t raise it?  What will people expect to see if they donate?  How would Christian do with a dog?  Is it worth getting a dog if he can’t take the dog to school?  Is it worth the fight to try and have the school district allow the dog at school?  Ah, so many, many questions.

I have told Brian that I would not follow up with a service dog if he wasn’t completely on board.

Hmm…I wonder if Oprah is looking for a cause?  Bill Gates?  Brad and Angelina?  Hmmm…