Lucie: Our Autism Assistance Dog - Chapter 1
Residential Training: May 2012
This is Lucie. She is a special dog. A cross breed of a curly coat retriever and black labrador. But what makes Lucie really special is she is soon to join my family as my sons autism assistance dog. My journey over the last 7 years raising two boys on the Autistic Spectrum has been an absolute rollercoaster of agony, giggles, challenges, successes and most of all a lot of wine! But until now I have felt my journey is like so many others on the unpredictable path of raising children with special needs. But Lucie is making me feel differently. For the first time on this tempestuous ride I feel hope, happiness and excitement that Lucie is bringing a positive change into our family. I would like to share this journey, and all that it brings.
So with all the anticipation of our new future in mind, I set about to find out what a blog is and try to write one. They say "there is a book in all of us", I'm not sure where I am keeping mine, (though I suspect there is a small library hiding in my hips), but a blog seemed more bitesize for me. So if you are interested in how this little adventure goes, please feel free to read my updates.
So where to start - well, certainly not at the beginning, as too many hours watching 'Horizon' tells me we still don't know where and how it all began. So maybe I should start with where I am right now. Sitting in a hotel room in Sheffield in the middle of residential training. A fancy phrase but really what it means is that Lucie has spent two years training to be an awesome professional working dog, and I arrive as a rank amateur hoping to be able to take over from her trainer as her handler and new trainer. And I am now on day 3 of my training. I have a lot to catch up on to get to Lucie's high standards, and if the next two weeks go well I will be able to take Lucie home with me to Lancashire next Friday.
Its late and these are busy days, so I will update tomorrow on what the training entails, and then I will go back and let you know a little more about how I got to being in this hotel room in Sheffield, and what an autism dog is really all about. For now. Sleep. The greatest luxury of all.