A New Furry Pal

Brittney Baumgartner's avatar

by Brittney Baumgartner

I remember early on, well after receiving Oliver’s diagnosis, looking in to therapy and companion animals.

I know that sounds contradicting, early on but well after his diagnosis. To be more clear, it was when he was around 2 years of age.

It was just a fragile point in time, when I knew he would be introduced to his big boy wheelchair and his few friends would be setting on their own ways with walking and school.

I wanted to beat “negativity” to the punch. If he felt sad or different, I wanted to have something there for him to love.

What I wasn’t thinking about, was his age. At two, Oliver was soon to meet his new baby brother and life would definitely be too busy for another addition, even if furry and cute.

What I did not know, was that Oliver would find that love and friendship in his little brother. Helping mommy care for him, giving and sharing cuddles with him, and building a bond stronger than anything!

I could not have asked for Oliver to be a better brother than he is to Theodore and Aaden (his older brother).

As we are now approaching Oliver’s 4th birthday, I revisited the idea of a companion pet.

It definitely seemed to be better timing, and Oliver was at a better place of understanding what a pet is and the responsibilities that came with one.

Our problem though, was that being matched with a therapy or companion pet, came with application processes and time, and lots of money.

Most of the time, these organizations help you start a fundraiser to raise the amount, but $15,000+ was just too far for us to introduce with the risk that Oliver may or may not take to this animal.

So I did my research, dug far and wide throughout the internet and questionnaires.

Finally, I found the perfect match that would best benefit Oliver, and blend with our family on all levels including personality and traits.

The Goldendoodle. Immensely smart, anti-shedding which is good for allergies, and all around a mellow dog. We knew it would be perfect, so all we had to do was find the perfect puppy!

It did not take long to look around and get matched with this little girl. The runt of the litter, so to speak. The last one to be chosen.... By us!

Since bringing her home, her temperament has been amazing. She takes it nice and easy around Oliver, allowing him to adjust and get use to this new face.

Although we have encountered times of fright, every now and then Oliver will express how much he loves her.

We have starting training her at home, successfully getting her to sit and potty outside, and we will soon start training with a certified trainer.

This new furry friend brings responsibility, stress at times, but so much love and such a deeper meaning for this family than just a family pet.

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