Shut up ~ we got this!

Close your eyes for a minute.   Squueze them shut.  Hard.  Now I want you to focus on the darkness.  I’m going to ask you in a moment to open them, but I want you to ignore that request and keep them close.   (Okay, now that you’re done reading, do it now and imagine me saying “Open your eyes.”)

Oh right?  You can’t open your eyes.  You’re blind.  Blind people can’t just open their eyes.  Thank you for indulging me.

Did you know that according to the National Coalition for Vision Health, over ¼ of a million Canadians are visually impaired and over $100,000 are legally blind?  And how about that according to Autism Ontario over a ¼ of a million Canadian families are affected by Autism?

Autism Awareness

In 2007 the UN declared April 2nd (today) as World Autism Awareness Day and finally in November 2012 the House of Commons passed an act that made today World Autism  Day in Canada too.  6 years later.

So why give a crap about these stats?  As some of you may have heard, in two weeks, we will be fostering a seeing eye dog puppy name Konner through  BC Guide Dog Services.  Fostering is a 1 year,  24 hour a day, 7 day a week volunteer position.  Puppy raisers expend their time, energy, money, love and caring for the puppies to move on to advanced training in hopes that they move on to assist a blind or visually impaired person.  And if they don’t do that, that they go into the Autism Support Dogs program and get matched with an autistic child.  As mentioned this is a volunteer position, but according to Autism Support Dogs each dog costs the program approximately $20,000 to raise each support dog.

Konner

Our family is super excited to meet and raise Konner (yes, Konner O’Connor ~ the irony).  I have always said I love babies, kittens and puppy, just not kids, cats and dogs.  So I guess I get some of my own needs met through this program as well.  lol.  I’ll admit, I am a little concerned about what we are taking on.  Have you had a puppy before?  Remember how much work it takes?  But do you know what I’m most bothered by?  Is the number of people who are so concerned about giving the dog away at 15 months.  “ohhhh…it will be so hard”, “I could never”, how will your daughter be?”  Well I can tell you what she won’t be.  She won’t be blind.  She won’t be autistic.  She can walk across the street and look both ways with no assistance.   She can open her eyes if I ask her to.

But what if she was?  What if she was blind?  What if she was autistic?  Wouldn’t we want the kindness of others to raise these puppies?

So shut up already.  On today World Autism Awareness Day, I ask for one thing.  Stop asking if it’s going to be hard to give Konner back.  Stop telling me how you could never do it.  Just shut up.  We are a loving family, with big hearts.  Yes, it’ll be sad, but what great isn’t?  So shut up already, really. I didn’t ask for your opinion.  We got this.  We got this.

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10 Responses to Shut up ~ we got this!

  1. bighugelife says:

    Well, jeez, you could ask any pet owner about the pain of letting go – it’s not exactly a secret that animals don’t live as long as we do and every pet is only with us for a while. I love that you’re doing this, and I love *why* you’re doing this – I had no idea about any of these stats until your post today, so I think it’s fabulous, and knowing your big, big heart, it seems about right that you will get to touch Konnor’s life before he goes on touch others’. I hope I get some puppy kisses while he lives with you…

    • Thanks Tara! What comes to mind when you say that is “Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” Plus, we get the added bonus of giving back in a major way! Such a great lesson to teach Hannah at such a young age. And, yes, you’ll get kisses cause remember what he is…a guide dog in training… he’ll get to come everywhere with me. teehee.

  2. Megan Haigh says:

    Omg ! Kayla just cried ! U are soo right ! And soooo awesome for doing ! Congrats ! I have fostered puppies too and it’s soo rewarding ! Keep doing what you do ! And let all the ” noise ” drown out !

  3. Susan Burns says:

    Michaella, I love that you are raising Konner to be a guide dog or support dog. As someone living with a chronic, disabling illness for which people occasionally get service dogs, I wholeheartedly approve. Someone has to love and train those puppies up to be the well-behaved dogs who accompany people with various disabilities. I do know several people with narcolepsy who have service dogs, and they are such beautiful, helpful animals.

    I have raised a few dogs from puppies, and am getting too old to do that anymore. I vowed that I would only adopt dogs who are over a year old and housebroken, and that is what I have done for the 2 dogs we have now. One of them is the sweetest dog we have ever had. The other is also sweet, but needed a dog psychiatrist and Prozac to help us get him to stop biting us. Being around dogs is good for the soul. Thanks for doing the hard work of raising Konner to be a service dog.

  4. Susan Sontra says:

    Michaella,
    I think it’s fantastic that you are raising Konner to become a support dog. Of course, you have this. When you are done, you will have given one of the biggest blessing to a family who will need him and love him. It will be messy, chaotic, fun but you will have gained something invaluable, and so will your daughter. She will see the generosity of your heart and remember that throughout her life. Thank you for taking on this beautiful job.

  5. That’s what I want to tell people who are always trying to tell me the dangers of working for myself and the safety of working a j-o-b. SHUT UP!

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