The addition of a service dog has made a positive difference for the Setauket household.

The addition of a service dog has made a positive difference for the Setauket household

Having a service dog as a buddy could, at different times, feel very much like landing the proverbial jackpot. This is because having a service dog as a friend can make life easier.

This is the way that Jamie Sileo, a native of Setauket, communicates his sentiments to others. Her daughter Drew, who was ten years old at the time, and Dasha, a yellow lab who was her “best buddy,” were put together in October of 2021.

“I often remark that it seems as if we must have won the dog lottery,” Sileo said further. In every respect, she is nothing short of astonishing.

Drew is diagnosed with global developmental delays, issues with executive function, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (ADHD). Canine Companions, which has its regional offices for the northeast based in Medford, was the first organization to make the link between the two organizations. The organization is the leading supplier of service dogs throughout the country and gives them away free of charge to the people who are eligible to get them.

When Sileo first began looking for a dog, she contacted the Smithtown Guide Dog Foundation, which proved to be an excellent first step.

The mother said, “I assumed that it would be rather difficult to purchase a puppy for her due to the fact that she has such precise criteria.” As a consequence of this, I made the decision to give the Guide Dog Foundation a call and inquire with them about the matter. They informed us that we do not provide this service, but if you are interested, you should get in contact with Canine Companions. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. After waiting for just under two years, I received the call that it was time to start my canine partner’s and my own team training, and I was also given a dog to work with. Even though we had to wait for a large amount of time, we did not feel impatient with the situation.

Virtually from the moment that they let Dasha into their house, she quickly established herself as an indispensable part of their life.

The words “I believe that it’s better than we anticipated” were attributed to Sileo in a quotation. “I had no idea that these dogs are raised to be such beautiful and sensitive creatures, nor did I understand that they are educated to such a high level. I was completely unaware of both of these things until now. As a result of the fact that they are somewhat dependent on routine, the dog was easily able to incorporate himself into all that we do.

Before commencing their formal training at the facility in Medford, these puppies are raised for the first 18 months of their life by a puppy raiser who cares for them in their home. During training, both the commands and the trainee’s actions are taken into account. These canines are employed, and they do their duties well.

The mother said that her daughter was aware that she was working while the vest was on her daughter, and she suggested that her daughter was aware of this fact. “Because she is so calm, when we take her with us to a restaurant, the overwhelming majority of the patrons will comment, “We didn’t even know there was a dog there.” This is because she is so quiet. She does absolutely nothing but laze about aimlessly beneath the table. They are taught to avoid touching anything that is lying on the ground, including food and other goods, in order to prevent getting their hands filthy. This ensures that they never touch anything that is not clean. We never leave the house without her in tow, not even if we’re only doing errands for a few minutes.

All of the Canine Companions service dogs are taught the same skills, which include how to propel a manual wheelchair, search for items as small as a penny, and operate light switches on and off. Drew and Dasha are of the same mind when it comes to the fact that some sets of instructions are more useful to them than others. With Dasha’s help, Drew is able to satisfy all of her sensory needs, and Dasha is also on the lookout for her wellbeing.

According to Sileo, “She covers,” which translates to “she successfully lays on her back over her own lap in order to apply pressure and fulfill her sensory demands,” she does this in order to satisfy her desire for pressure. Even on our team, the push command is often used. If we are getting ready upstairs and she still has her drawers open, the dog will help her close them for her. In other words, the dog will close her drawers for her. Drew has developed the bad habit of jolting himself up in the middle of the night without being consciously aware of the fact that he has done so. Because of this, the dog will continue to sit at her side even if she gets up.

Those who are interested in adopting a puppy are encouraged by Debra Dougherty, the executive director of Canine Companions for the Northeast region, to place an emphasis on their degree of commitment rather than their level of experience.

Dougherty stated that “We’re searching for someone who is dedicated,” and the search is currently ongoing at this time. “A person who is driven by the desire to assist others around them. When you’re done raising a puppy, it’s a rewarding feeling to watch it go on to help someone else after you’ve had the privilege of caring for it yourself.

Because persons who wish to raise pups have access to a broad support network, previous expertise with dogs is not required for them in order to fulfill their role as a puppy raiser.

She said that what happens is that “We go through a process with them.” Following the receipt of their application, we will next conduct a phone interview with the applicant. The next phase requires them to come to our campus in Medford for a few sessions. During these sessions, they will see other individuals who are collecting money and may even engage with some of these individuals.

If at that time they have not disavowed their desire to participate, their name will be added to the list of those on the waiting list. They begin adhering to a schedule that is rather structured from the minute they get a puppy, which is a gift from us to them. In the event that a person expresses an interest in having a mentor, we will make every attempt to put them in contact with an individual who has a greater degree of skill than they do, so that they have someone with whom they may consult. Since of this, it is not required for a person to have previously been responsible for the upbringing of a dog in order for them to be able to work with us because we will aid them.

Dougherty encourages everyone to consider not just the sentiments and responsibilities that come along with the choice to raise a dog, but also the person who will be getting the dog and the obligation that comes along with it.

“Have a wonderful heart to share with the dog and the receiver, and be open to new experiences,” she said while also pointing out the importance of having a positive attitude. “Always be open to taking in new experiences.” “It is a commitment because these dogs are made for a very specific reason, and you know that the final aim is to be coupled with a person with a handicap in order to help that person. Since of this, it is a commitment because these dogs are bred for a very specific purpose. As a consequence of this, it is a commitment that must be made since these dogs are bred for a very particular purpose. Because of this, we would prefer that they treat it with the seriousness it deserves.

Sileo is appreciative that he has the chance to spend time with a Canine Companions for Independence support dog.

The mother expressed her gratitude to everyone in the world who takes care of pups by saying, “I will be eternally thankful to all of you.”

We would want to take this time to extend our heartfelt appreciation to Canine Companions for the excellent opportunity they have provided for us. Because of the kindness of individuals like puppy raisers, trainers, donors, and everyone else involved in the process, my daughter was able to obtain Dasha, a beautiful and extremely clever dog. Dasha will be a wonderful addition to our family.

Because Dasha is a part of Drew’s life, his life has been enhanced in a number of ways, including his capacity to converse, his ability to regulate his anxiety, and his involvement in social activities. Dasha has such a magnetic presence that everyone who meets her cannot not but fall head over heels in love with her.

Smithttown Weather

September 26, 2022, 8:43 am

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Forecast September 26, 2022

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Mostly clear
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