Earlier in the month I called Assistance Dogs for Achieving Independence (ADAI) to ask about the likelihood of there being a dog for me in August. I was told there were mostly walking dogs in this class, so it wouldn't be very likely.
But, never say never!
Yesterday I got a call from Jenny, the Client Services Director at ADAI, and she asked if I was available to come meet with her next week.
"Does this mean you have a dog for me?" I blurted with all the subtlety and excitement of a child who senses they are about to receive a gift.
"Yes, it does!" She went on to explain that they wanted me to come meet the dog, who she feels would be a good match, and see how we do together. And, if it's a match made in heaven, then I get to go back to Toledo in August to train with my dog for two weeks.
So, I will be taking a bus on Tuesday morning out to Toledo and staying the night at Jim's place. Then Wednesday I have a 10:00 AM meeting with Jenny and I'll be taking the bus back home on Wednesday afternoon.
I'm considering my options for lodging during training, and the more I consider it, the more I think that we would be best off staying in like a Red Roof Inn or Extended Stay America for the two weeks. Jim has a bird, a big parrot, and there are concerns about the bird and the dog together since the bird is having some behavior issues. Another option is his ex, who has dogs. But I am concerned that will be a distraction for my dog. When I set the goal of $1000, I was looking at it with the plan of staying with Jim, so ever so I'm grateful for the donations I've gotten on my YouCaring.com page. Even with a cheap motel, that's still around $600-$700 for lodging for 2 weeks.
I'm running the numbers now, figuring on the high end of prices to cover all bases...
That leaves about $800 for food, local travel within Toledo (taxis, most likely), and various other expenses like laundry while I'm there, so help is still welcome and appreciated.
I am amazed at how fast this is happening. When I got accepted in January, the letter said the average waiting list is 2 years for a dog. I feel very blessed that this is happening the way it is and how generous everyone has been. I can't tell you how grateful I am.
And Friday I get to meet with my Voc. Rehab. counselor about changing my goal to college. My intention is to get a Bachelors in Social Work so I can work in disability advocacy in one form or another.
Yes, my life is changing, and I am so happy I could burst!