Sometimes really GOOD things happen. And when they do it is just such a jubilant feeling of gratitude and relief.
In October I wrote at length about Meghan’s struggle with PTSD and anxiety. I wrote in the blog linked below about our commitment to obtain a service dog.
When we made this commitment it came with an enormous price tag. It came after two of her doctors strongly encouraged the decision. It also came with a determined sense of urgency that we would do whatever was necessary to make this a reality for her.
After searching, we interviewed with, and contracted with Medical Mutts. We were drawn here because of their commitment to rescue their service dogs. We currently love 2 rescues, and a third spent several wonderful years as a key part of our family. We believe strongly in their mission. We put the deposit for the dog on our credit card, a total leap of faith that was so necessary at that moment when she needed HOPE.
Meghan had weighed out the pros and cons of a service animal. She had overwhelmingly decided on the pros. And, while we know there will be bumps in the road, her father and I trust her instincts.
The wait time for a dog can be a year. We had to get her into the system.
Then we paused and wondered how on earth we were going to manage the cost of obtaining a fully trained service dog from Indiana, with costs including a week of lost wages, air fare, hotel, and food while we were there. We knew we needed help.
We reached out to local charities and were directed first to ECHO –Emergency Children’s Help Organization
Previously, I had an idea they existed, but I had no idea we would ever need to ask them for help. The whole act of asking for help is humbling. But, if anything can humble you, it is the desire to provide your child with what she needs.
When I spoke to Gina she was friendly, helpful and calm. She spent so many different sessions on the phone with me as I drove her wild with questions. The application was intense and comprehensive, but I understood why.
With time and patience I was able to deliver her a completed application close to the end of November. When I submitted the application, I had complied a list of other places we would apply to once they decided if they were going to grant us money. I had never done anything like this before.
Through the process I was able to compile a history of Meghan’s charity work around the community. I was proud to be able to attach a document detailing her work.
The executive board at ECHO was presented with Meghan’s case awarded her a grant that exceeded my wildest hopes and dreams. With one phone call Gina was able to tell me that the balance of the dog would be paid in full, and there would be stipends for the travel to Indiana, the lodging, the transportation and the food. In short, we were told to focus on Meghan. The financial burden of the dog she needs so desperately had been lifted.
I have no doubt that Meghan, once she feels well again, will return to the charitable end of things, fundraising for PTEN disorders, and for those less fortunate. It is part of her heart.
Right now, we have HOPE to carry us through some difficult times. We have HOPE and eager anticipation for a dog that will become her best friend.
HOPE right now is spelled ECHO.
Please, if you’re inclined to support a quality organization – visit their website and consider a donation.
We will wait for the new dog anxiously in HOPE and GRATITUDE.