We are about to welcome a new member into our community, a dog working with our gorgeous new student named Diamond (Year 4). You may have noticed Diamond as she has the most fabulous hair (tinge of green!) and a beautiful big smile.
Diamond has Dejerine-Sottas Syndrome (also known as CMT Type 3) and uses a wheelchair. Our young Diamond has already made many new friends who have been fabulous. Our Seito Kai also took Diamond and her sister Raven on a tour of the school so that both girls were able to get to know their new school well.
We will be introducing a service dog and the trainer (Etai) at our assembly on 21 October and will be informing the children that the dog needs to be left to work – ‘no pats!’ I have a feeling that there may need to be many reminders! The dog that will be presented at assembly is a dog that Diamond is training with, not her dog. They need to find a pup that will be the perfect match for her. Diamond also needs a year of working with the trainer so she knows how to manage her own dog in the future.
DOGS FOR LIFE provides service dogs for people with a disability. This includes training and a 2 year program to support the child with the dog. DOGS FOR LIFE is focused on working with specifically trained dogs within mutually defined programs to assist children in schools to create a lasting partnership to empower the child, to enhance their independence and facilitate their increased participation in school life and the community. The service dog will also assist Diamond to relax, encourage interaction and conversation with friends and develop responsibility.
Diamond’s relationship with her dog will be a special one that we will be privileged to see. Many of our children are lucky to have a pet and will understand the importance of love and friendship that a pet provides.
When you see Diamond, the dog and the trainer, please remind your child not to pat the dog.