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Good Dog! Autism Companions

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: Good Dog! is dedicated to helping children and families live better lives through autism service dog companionship since 2011.

Results: 35 autism service dog placed and supported.

Target demographics: children and families live better lives through autism service dog companionship.

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 100 children and families living with autism

Geographic areas served: San Diego, California and across the USA.

Programs: autism service dog placement; community services including a free chat program for families seeking information about the service dog arena, and community outreach programs; training services including training and family services, including fundraising support to help families raise the required funds to receive an autism service dog and online continued education and support for families with an autism service dog.

Community Stories

26 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Amanda B.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Good Dog! Autism Companions is a remarkable organization that has forever changed our family in the most amazing way. Good Dog! Charlie came home to our family in July 2017 and she immediately formed the most incredible bond with our son Cade. She has given Cade the confidence to interact with his peers and increased his self esteem and confidence in social situations. Charlie makes public outings as a family so much less stressful, her presence alone provides a sense of calm for our entire family. Charlie’s ability to provide sensory input for Cade has eliminated our need for weighted blankets and weighted vests. When Charlie started attending school with Cade we noticed a dramatic decrease in Cade’s outbursts, anxiety, and frustrations in the school setting. Charlie was able to provide the redirection and sensory needs in the school setting that allowed Cade to stay in the general education classroom longer then ever before. Good Dog!’s owners and trainers are is incredibly supportive and I always look forward to our phone calls. They are quick to answer your questions, provide support, or help with a decision. They have become part of our family. I can not imagine working with a better organization. Good Dog!’s three- tier approach to matching their dogs and families is remarkable and I truly believe it is why our bond with Charlie is so strong. Good Dog! Autism Companions will continue to change lives in extraordinary ways!

Previous Stories
4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I don’t think I will ever stop being amazed at how Good Dog! Charlie's presence has changed our home and Cade’s life for the better. She brightens our entire home and her love for Cade is just incredible. Watching her watch him makes my heart full. She is truly the missing puzzle piece to our family. Good Dog! Autism Companions offers endless support throughout the entire process of being matched with your child's forever friend and their training and bonding course is simply phenomenal. The week I spent in California training with Charlie and the team was a life changing experience for me. Their support is continues after your Good Dog! comes home. This organization truly changes the lives of autism families!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experience with Good Dog! has been amazing. This NFP changed my families life when my son received his Good Dog! After we recover our dog we could always count on the support from the Good Dog team and we truly feel that we are part of a family. Our family loves to be involved in anything Good Dog related as we want to see other families have such a wonderful experience like we did.

1 Kathy O.2

Donor

Rating: 5

My involvement with Good Dog has been an incredibly rewarding experience! Even a little goes a long way in connecting families with four legged companions that change their lives. Thank you Good Dog for truly making a difference to all those you touch!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It has been such a blessing volunteering for Good Dog and seeing the magic and love they spread year after year. This organization and its founders give families hope and show how a service companion can change their lives. I have seen it first hand and feel honored to have been there to share in the love and joy when families take their dogs home for the first time. They are much more than service dogs, they are apart of family.

lisa

Donor

Rating: 5

I can't thank Good Dog! enough for the work they do. They have made children living with autism safer, more confident and happier by their work every day by providing a much needed companion. Thank you Good Dog! for how you make a difference.

Stephanie A.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son is 16 has autism. Good Dog! Worked with our family to find a dog to match our situation. They work with you and I highly recommend..

Brittney M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was given such an amazing opportunity to work for Good Dog! as a trainer. It was the best decision of my life and I owe it all to Laura and Sam for taking a chance with me. It was a dream come true and I feel like part of the family with them! I have also met with the amazing family who will receive the first dog I’ve trained and lots of other families! It’s such a great community, so loving, and I wouldn’t change it for the world!

VanessaS

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have a 12 year old son with autism. We are grateful to GoodDog Autism Companions as they have provided my son with his GoodDog and been there to support us every step of the way. They are truly a Great Non Profit.

Eleonor Y.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Good Dog has been life changing!!! Since receiving his best friend, Gooddog Casey, he has blossomed in all social areas of his life. He now performs dance, acting and singing on stage!!! The unconditional Love Gooddog Casey brought to our family help transform us all. Thank You Laura and all Good Dog staff for the loving job you do!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We can't thank Good Dog enough for our service dog NaBoo! They pair their knowledge of the service dog world beautifully with their first hand experiences with Autism. Together they have created more than a company, it's an extended family of love and support.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've been the Lead Trainer for Good Dog! Autism Companions for 5 years.  I am so proud of the work we do! Not only do we help children and families with autism live better lives but we also treat our dogs with great love and care. Dog are intelligent, emotional beings so we use only positive re-enforcement training methods. We also follow the ADI  (Assistance Dog International) standards and guidelines for all aspects of our program. I couldn’t be more proud or lucky to work for such an amazing organization!

1 Brooklyn C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for Good Dog! for 7 years. It has been amazing to watch them grow and help more families get dogs. These guys put a lot of love into the Autism community. My favorite part of volunteering is seeing the impact the dogs have on the kids and families.

Stefanie Winter G.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Good Dog! autism companions took a chance on my little girl after we were rejected by many other service dog companies. They are so knowledgeable, supportive, loving, and really understand the needs of our kiddos with autism. The dog training (and people training) is impeccable, and I can’t wait until our dog comes home in November! We already met her once and just know she is going to change all of our lives for the better ❤️ Thank you for everything, Good Dog!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Good Dog! is an amazing organization. I have thoroughly enjoyed training for them and watching how these dogs help children with Autism.

Previous Stories
1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Good Dog! Autism Companions is a wonderful organization with awesome directors, great trainers, fantastic families and fabulous pups! I love training pups for them and seeing the benefit the dogs give to their people.

Client Served

Rating: 5

GoodDog Autism Companions has added to our family's lives in ways I never imagined. Our GoodDog George has developed a relationship with my daughter that has heightened her independence, her confidence and sense of competence, and the maturity necessary for being responsible for another living being. She loves him and is always proud to have him with her. As George's primary handler, I have fallen so hard, that sometimes I think he does more for me than for my child! He is impeccably trained and amazingly attuned to us and our emotions. Even my non-animal-person husband is crazy about him. Laura and Rick Sylvester have created - and tirelessly devote themselves - to a most wonderful, necessary, and effective organization. I am so grateful to them. I hope Good Dog flourishes and grows for many years to come!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They have made a tremendous impact in the lives of families with autistic children by training and placing companion dogs with them. Truly magical things happen between the child, dog and the entire family.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am lucky enough to be an apprentice trainer for this amazing organization! I love how each family, child and dog are matched very carefully to make sure that the team will be the best that it can possibly be! Each dog is raised and trained with love and positivity making them the best service dogs possible!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a trainer with Good Dog Autism Companions and I love the team and community here. Our executive director and her husband are autism parents and have been involved in the autism community for many years. They are incredibly knowledgeable about what autism families need in a service dog, and are always willing to offer advice and help to families. Our lead trainer is very supportive and has a great system to check in with the trainers and keep up with the dogs' progress. Love this organization and the work we are doing!

3 Christine178

Client Served

Rating: 5

Good Dog! Autism Companions has changed our entire family's lives for the better in immeasurable ways! From the moment we met and worked with their facility dog, Drake, we knew Good Dog! was an organization we wanted to get involved with. Our son's service dog, Flinn is an angel on paws. He has given Cameron so much confidence to try things he might not have done previously, because he knows he has a best friend by his side who will step in to help him when he needs it wherever he goes. Good Dog! Has been with us every step of the way, from the first call, to fundraising, to graduation, and follow up support. We are honored to be members of the Good Dog! family, and would recommend this organization to anyone, no matter if they're seeking an Autism service dog, looking for an amazing organization to support, or both!

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Good Dog! is not just a nonprofit company. This organization makes dreams come true. The journey of being a special needs parent is not easy, but working with Good Dog! has shown us unconditional love and support. We will be getting an autism service dog in a month, and Laura Sylvester was wonderful to work with since the beginning. Having a dog nurture and help our daughter with her daily challenges will be incredible, and we can't believe we will be getting therapy from a warm, loving dog. Thank you Good Dog!, Laura, and everyone who has been a part of our story!