For the past month I’ve wanted to post an update about Cooper’s dog, but haven’t been able to because of school, being a mom,writing thank you cards, and responding to foundations that want to help. We have been invited to talk on The Dave Congalton show to raise awareness about food allergies, but not sure I will have the time to accept the invitation. I am limited to who can care for Cooper, and who I can trust when things like this arise. Having said this, those of you who care for Cooper when I am in need, I am very thankful for you, and you are very special to me.
About a month ago we raised a total of $5,000. Everyone who’s following Coopers Journey knows what a big deal this was for us. This was the big day, which we have all been waiting for… Cooper’s dog can now begin training! Many of you expressed your happiness and excitement for Cooper with our family and it was so special. I am thankful for all of you! As for me I cried, I shouted with joy, I thanked god for all the wonderful people who helped us get here, and I hugged my son with all my might.
We know many of you are anxiously waiting for an update on Cooper’s dog, and so are we! The process is not simple. Dogs are like humans, some are able to do things that others are not. There is very little that we know about Cooper’s dog, except that he will be an Australian Labradoddle. Angel Service Dogs has to follow certain regulation when training a dog to become a service dog. First is obedience. The dog has to act on command: Sit, down, stay, walk easily, no signs of aggression, recall, sit in public places and so on. Once he passes that and earns his certificate, he must be able to detect a peanut from a building, vehicle, or luggage in five minutes or less to become "peanut" certified. From there he needs to be able to “stack” which means, he needs to pick up the scent of cashews, get certified, pecans, get certified, walnuts get certified, and so on until he meets Coopers needs, and with the same regulations as a peanut. Some dogs will be able to do this, and some will not. This is why we won’t know which dog will be Coopers until we get “the phone call”. Trust me, it is hard. I want to post pictures, I want to tell you his name, and how he is progressing but I can’t. All I know, is we are hoping to get Cooper’s dog in about six months. This will allow Cooper and the dog to become familiar with each other before Cooper starts kindergarten. (Which by the way, these dogs have been detecting peanuts from “peanut free tables”. Just as an FYI to parents of peanut/nut allergic children.)
Our family is rooting for Ranger. He is a beautiful, brown Australian Labradoodle that is simply adorable. He’s about a year old, and is in training to become peanut certified. He aired on the today show and is working hard, to meet the needs of a child, we are just hoping that child is Cooper! I promise to keep you updated as often as I can, and again thank all of you for your support! http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/33825344#33825344