For years we have talked about getting a dog for Hayden. After hearing so many inspiring stories about autism therapy dogs, how could you say no???
That is until you really look into getting one and find out that a trained certified companion dog costs around $13,000.00 and takes years to get…

After a lot of research, and trying different paths I think we’ve found a winner in Maverick. Mav is half Golden Retriever and half Labrador Retriever, both Hayden’s favorite breeds.

I wish i had a video of the first time Maverick walked into our home. The way Hayden’s face light up with a smile, his eye contact and focus was unbelievable as he was drawn to his new dog. He walked slowly from the back of the house to the front each step getting closer to his dream come true. About ten feet away from the dog he couldn’t contain himself any longer, he jumped in the air, smiling and laughing and clapping his hands. Then he stopped and quietly, deliberately walked up to Mav and gave him a hug.

Now we are working with trainers so that Mav can be certified as Hayden’s Therapy Dog. At the same time we are learning to be “dog people”. For example I can only laugh when I tell Mav to go to bed and he runs to my room and jumps in my bed.

In the meantime, Hayden is learning about feeding, grooming, walking, playing and making social connections with his dog. Having his dog has added so much to Hayden’s quality of life. It’s enriched his days with more joy and more responsibility. I can’t wait to see all the good that will be happening six months from now!