While the waiting list for an assistance dog from Irish Dogs for the Disabled is daunting to many potential applicants, Luke’s mum Pauline brilliantly described on our Facebook page back in August why it is worth the wait and how assistance dog Aidan has changed her son’s life:

We are heading into the end of our third year with Aidan now and he is a very important member of our family. His partnership with Luke is hard to describe, it’s almost like they think each others thoughts. It’s an intuitive partnership and we know without a doubt that Luke would be a part time wheelchair user in school without Aidan by his side. Luke has grown into a tall capable young man of sixteen with the freedom of his peers and a shot at life he wouldn’t have got without the help from dogs for the disabled.

My advice for anyone out there waiting for an assistance dog is this: half a loaf is not better than none. Be patient and wait, get your dog from the right source. There is no way our partnership would have worked without the support of Irish Dogs for the Disabled.

To have a successful, safe school journey you need a fully trained, bred for purpose dog that matches your child’s needs. You also need 24/7 support from an expert, someone who understands your dog and your child’s disability.

Getting your dog from a qualified, experienced registered organisation, that way you will be covered legally to bring your dog into public places, you will have back-up if things get tricky. Your dog will be expertly matched to meet your needs, he will be from a long line of working dogs, and you and your child will receive expert training from qualified experts who have years of experience doing what they do.

Assistance dogs must at all times behave flawlessly in public places. One badly behaved animal will result in all assistance dogs being tarred with the same brush and that’s why we all work so hard to constantly polish our dog’s skills so they behave like princes and princesses. The public’s ability to accept dogs in public places like restaurants and schools depends directly on the behaviour of the dogs that are presently accessing these public places.

Wait for the real deal, judging by our experiences with Aidan, I promise you, it will be worth the wait