In less than a week, I had papers to fill out that are required to register for an inquiry with A.D.A.I. I had to have my doctors O.K. and someone, not a family member, to fill out their opinion too on why a dog would be good for me, and if I would be good to the dog.
I had a home interview, and taping session. My husband had to personally tell the interviewer that he would support my having an assistance dog. Then I was interviewed extensively, and they video taped how I moved. They brought a dog with them, to see how I interacted with dogs. They were extremely thorough, and very kind.
They took all the information back to A.D.A.I. and the trainers of the dogs looked over the interview and studied my movements. They made the ultimate decision to whether a dog would help me or not. By April 1st, 2006, I was on their waiitng list for a walking-assistance dog.
Once a dog came that was the right height and the correct temperament for me, I was called. My husband and I went in June of 2008 to meet Jordan. He's a black labrador retiever with a truly 'regal' look about him. His coat shines in the sun, he has a magnificent build and he is taller than most labs. His brown eyes are extremely espressive. I fell in love with him immediately.
I went back for two weeks in July and I was trained on how to utilize the dog's ability to help me in my everyday life. The classes were professionally taught, and we had home work every night. I had to learn what word prompted the behavior I needed, at any given time.We took our dogs home with us the second night, and from then on they were with us all the time.
The school had a graduation party of sorts, as classes ended, in July of 2008. Each foster family who raised our individual dog from puppyhood, officially presented our dog to us, the new owner, that evening. Yet, the dogs stil were the property of A.D.A.I. There was a 3-6 month trial period, inwhich we had to continue to use the dog for the reasons we asked for, and the dogs had to be healthy, not overfed, or underfed.
The trainers are always ready to help with any problem or question that might come up, even once classes end. They are only an email or a phone call away. They are all just wonderful people, who love dogs.
Once the trial period ends, the trainer visits to take us on an outing.
The reason for this is very important. The public MUST be safe with my dog. My dog must be safe in public. I must be using the dog for the reasons he was trained for me. So we went through a series of tests, and Jordan and I passed with flying colors.
Once we had our certification papers, bought him a handicap license, and registered him as my mobility-assistance dog, Jordan became truly my dog. Now I owned him. free and clear. We have to feed him properly, make sure he gets enough exercise, keep him up on canine shots and have him checked by our veterinarian every six months. The expected care given to any life that is respected.
I love him! He is truly my best friend. He has turned out to be a therapy dog to almost everyone else in my family and extended family. I have super support from my immediate family, my church family, the Parkinson's disease community, as well as my friends and my doctors. Everyone just LOVES Jordan! He is especially gentle with children, no matter how large a group.
I couldn't have asked for a better dog, if the good Lord had handed me pencil and paper and asked me to write down what I would want in a service dog. Jordan was definately worth the wait!!!
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
The results of Assistance Dogs of America Inc., is an adventure I am still on. My dog has helped me be more active and confident. Disabilities are painful to see, and they remind us all of just how fragile we are. But, everyone loves dogs, and that gives common ground to have a conversation with almost anyone. The Central Ohio Parkinson's Association published my story of Jordan and me. Another P.D. patient read it. He contacted A.D.A.I. and then called me. He received his dog, Quincy in 2010.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
They are in need of a larger facility. Their waiting list keeps getting longer and longer, and they only have so much space to be able to do what they do. My Jordan makes me smile everyday. Just as his purpose in life is to take care of me., my purpose is to take care of him.
How would you describe the help you got from this organization?
How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?
How do you feel you were treated by this organization?
How did you find this group?
A trainer of dogs at a PetSmart.
What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?
Opened me up to a whole new world of possibilities, and raised my spirits one hundred-fold. I am more confident everywhere I go. I am not the crippled lady to avoid now. I am the lady with the beautiful and well behaved dog.
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?