Candlebay Inn welcomed Molly with open arms and even had a box of toys waiting for her when she came back to the Inn from work each day. That made us all very happy. Thank you from Molly and all of us for a great stay at your Inn.
Molly came to us at 8 weeks. Here she is with Mystique, our family pet. Mystique was our first dog in training, but she failed in some requirements to be matched with a family and now helps the new puppies.
Molly stays with us from 12-18 months. We love, socialize, train, and ensure the safety and emotional well being of the puppy. When an autistic child or adult needs a dog, the family in need makes application to Endeavor, a home visit is done, and every attempt is made to pair the special needs person with a trained dog. When pairing a child with a service dog, some aspects to consider include presence of sensory issues, allergies and the temperaments of the child and the dog.
The path to training the dog requires many outings in all types of environments and with all types of people. A few examples from our list of puppy homework includes riding a bus, exposure to snow plows, lawn mowers, men and women in uniform (crossing guards, police, postal workers, firefighters, etc), children in Halloween costumes, different sound environments like parades, clapping, music and dancing, sporting events, school classrooms, other animals, wheel chairs, strollers, shopping carts, bicycles, joggers, seniors, different ethnicities, unusually strong smells, other people’s homes, and shopping malls. The first year is an important year in becoming well socialized.
Molly is an English Creme Golden Retriever and is paired with Michael. They met when she was 8 weeks old. Michael is now 13 years old and, like many kids with autism, has therapies inside and outside the home. Some of the skills Molly brings to help Michael include social and responsibility skills as Michael can talk to and care for Molly. Other children are interested in Molly and Michael can talk to them about her. Molly can “lap” or provide pressure or a cuddle to Michael when he is anxious. This helps avoid the need to leave a space prematurely as Molly gives Michael support in unfamiliar spaces. Molly gives the parents support, as their child has a companion while they engage in social relations. Some children with autism are “runners” and these children are tethered to their service dog with a parent holding the leash allowing a better level of safety.
Molly’s training continues and soon Michael and Molly’s family will start to learn how to work with her. She is slated to accompany Michael as he transitions into high school. She will be paired this summer with Michael in his home.