So I didn't think my life was full enough, so I volunteered to be in charge of our homeschooling organization's activities and events. (What was I thinking?!) I had ulterior motives when I agreed--1. I would be forced to get to know people, 2. I could try and incorporate more activities that were "special needs" friendly. And with that very thing in mind, I started the year out with something different than anything I had seen done in the past. I invited Kate Morgan and Chuck Archer of Southwest Service Dogs to come do a demonstration for our group. And low and behold, everyone loved it! We had over 150 people there and I was going to consider it a success if 20 people showed up!
Southwest Service Dogs trains and places dogs with adults and children who are disabled. Kate brought two dogs with her and Chuck brought his personal dog with him. They were absolutely beautiful and they were great with the children. Kate let them show off many of their tricks (taking off her jacket, getting her a kleenex after she sneezed, opening the "fridge" and bringing her water, helping Chuck at the "counter" when paying for items, etc.). It is absolutely amazing how these dogs can help a person with their daily tasks!
Of course everyone wanted to know if we plan to get Clayton a service dog. The honest answer is we just don't know yet. Clayton really isn't mature enough yet to handle the responsibility (all of the dog's care and commands would have to come from him). Your home environment also has to be just right for things to work out, and with Katie being the alpha female that she is, I don't see us having another dog in the house while she is still with us. We're definitely leaving the option open though because we know it would give Clayton a lot of indpendence from us.
At any rate, I was glad to start the year of activities off with a bang. I just hope I can keep up the creativity on what we plan in the future!