Pup a smart move for Emerald family
A CHANCE sighting of a video on Facebook could prove life changing for the Waldron family.
After seeing a therapy dog help a lady having an autistic meltdown, the Emerald family has applied for a Smart Pup, a dog specifically trained to help Connor and Hayley Waldron, who have autism.
Mum Phoebe explained Connor and Hayley were classed as high-functioning, but although their signs and symptoms are less severe than others on the spectrum, she pointed out it still came with a unique set of challenges.
"The Smart Pup therapy dog is trained to support the individual children in which it is to be placed," Phoebe said. Our dog would be trained to support the needs of both Connor and Hayley."
Phoebe said to have an extra pair of "hands" on outings would be amazing.
"It can go from calm to chaos in a matter of seconds on our family outings and we are constantly on edge," she said.
"Hayley has an extreme flight response when she hears unknown or unexpected noises.
"A Smart Pup would be trained to tether to Hayley and drop on command to prevent this situation from occurring."
Phoebe said a Smart Pup would be trained to provide emotional support and companionship to seven-year-old Connor.
"Connor has extreme anxiety and frequents large emotional melt downs," she explained.
"It could interrupt the meltdowns."
The family is now fundraising $25,000 so a dog can be allocated to them and already the family has raised close to $1000.
Four-year-old Hayley put her artistic skills to use, completing a special drawing the family auctioned off to help raise funds.
To find out how you can help visit Facebook.com/ smartpupforthewaldrons.