Dog appeal week seeks volunteers
What a difference a dog makes.
For Leo, 6, and Tiffany, 4, Nash a dog from Assistance Dogs New Zealand (ADNZ), makes all the difference in the world.
Both Palmerston North children have Down syndrome and Leo is visually impaired.
The pair have to be supervised closely especially as both are particularly good escape artists, say parents Dan Nash and Gretchen Good.
Now after spending three years on a waiting list, the children at last have Caz.
The dog has been specifically trained for Leo and Tiffany since about 8 weeks old to be easy to control and not get distracted by other dogs.
ADNZ instructor Julie Hancox says Caz was the first dog they have resistance-trained for two tethered children so they can’t run away.
‘‘A lot of families . . . are quite restricted in where they can go and what they can do, and the dogs really help with that and with calming the kids when they’re out,’’ Julie says.
The instructor has spent a week with the family helping them and Caz adjust, and will keep in regular contact in case any issues arise. Gretchen is rapt. ‘‘We think it’s been wonderful. Before, I couldn’t take them places like the library or grocery shopping by myself because they both
do run in different directions, and I can now.’’
Because the children can both be tethered to Caz, they no longer need two adults at all times.
‘‘This is the most rewarding part,’’ Julie says, ‘‘getting to see the dog go into a family and make a difference.’’
Recipients are asked to ‘‘pay it forward’’ by raising money towards the $50,000 training cost for the next family.
Assistance to Leo and Tiffany’s fundraising is through Give A Little https://givealittle.co.nz/ cause/assistdog4two.
Tiffany 4 and Leo Nash, 6 have Down syndrome and after a three-year wait have been fortunate to get Caz, an assistance dog to help them and their parents Dan and Gretchen. The family is raising money to help pay for Caz.