Q has done amazing in his pet/dog therapy class..they not only do the dog part but at each station have to answer questions and it is very self esteem based etc. This is the only therapy he stayed in when speech, Occupational Therapist (OT), pt and psychiatric/counseling all dumped him at once. He has been wonderful and not only there but also in his other therapies this summer...the autism social skills classes--including the three hour field trips to water parks, activities, and socializing time. They said they LOVE him. It is so nice to be with people who say that sometimes. I know they could turn on us too, and I shouldn't think that way but I have a cautious heart now. Still, I can fully appreciate what is going on and how happy and successful he has been there. His horse therapy has been great too. He still is not riding much--that fear really got him all of a sudden, but he is imitating the volunteers and last week he said, oh great Omer is here, I can work with him...LOL, as if he was the one to do the activities with this little sibling of an autistic student who took riding at teh same time. They totally let him do his thing, having him assist them. He is also brushing horses, feeding them, carrying heavy blankets and saddles etc...the blurts and inappropriate touches are WAY down. maybe one small thing each session where it used to be ongoing. SOOOO, many people have suggested a therapy dog for him. The process is long and expensive, though some of the programs are "free" if you can raise thousands in money through fund raising. It is wonderful but a different option came up. A teacher who was considering a shelter dog she found to be a therapy dog (her school allows the teachers to bring them to school to work with their students and hers is old so she wanted a new one....) found this dog. I met her so we met the dog...it is/was a shelter dog but seven months and already responding beautifully to training. Q and I went to meet him and he is a lab mix, and was great with Q. Q is usually scared of bigger dogs but we need a big one given Q's size. This dog was really cool. Q and I walked him around the neighborhood and when Q got a little excited...the dog was on leash with me but went behind Q and walked behind his legs and sat down or stood still. It forced Q to focus on the dog and broke the behavior. The dog was not taught that. But the teacher/trainer said that we can use that and reinforce it to be an option. Q was able to walk him too and actually started calling him JJ Yeley (a NASCAR driver of course).... So, the fee goes to the humane society if we decided to get him and then use a trainer to work on the behaviors we want for Q for a therapy dog. I really dont have any business doing that but we did get money from the samsung galaxy player that Q got caught in the car door and smashed (happy to have gotten the insurance) and Q said to use it for the dog! THEN I found a woman online selling a humane society credit she had so I called and offered what the dog is costing but it is worth 160 more which can be used for food and supplies for the dog. The dog is all healthy, has all shots, surgery done, etc. I really have had to think but my heart says now is the time. We really need an angel and Q connected with this dog even more than our current dog. He even asked if JJ could sleep in the kennel in his room so he will feel safer. Since he again last night ended up sleep walking thru the house and asking me for help but not telling me what for over and over...it is clear he needs the security feeling. We can work with a few trainers and if it can be worded as therapy for Q we might get some of that covered by his waiver next year too. So, I think tomorrow night we will go pick him up. He is beautiful and sweet and I hope it goes as it seems it could. She is giving us a thirty day trial period to make sure. I will post pics after all is said and done....kind of looks like this but with a dark muzzle, and bigger!