Smart pups more than man's best friend
AFTER spending the past six months campaigning to get a Smart Pup for her son, Nicole Blum's dream is about to come true.
While her 19-year-old son lay in the intensive care unit at Brisbane's Prince Charles Hospital on Wednesday, Nicole's husband James received a cheque for $5000.
The Hervey Bay mum had to raise $20,000 just to be eligible to apply for an assistance dog for Jordan who was born with down syndrome.
He is currently being treated for several medical complications.
Now, thanks to the generosity of local charity Rally for a Cause, the Bar Flies and the Beach House Hotel - she is one step closer.
Mrs Blum said like most four-legged pets, the puppy would become Jordan's best mate and eyes and ears while out in the community.
Smart Pup senior trainer Belynda Harvey said the dogs were trained specifically for children with disabilities.
"Depending on what role they go into, determines their tasks, but in regards to mobility, they would be trained to stand and brace, retrieve items, open and close doors, cupboards, retrieve clothing, take off shoes and socks and press buttons," Miss Harvey said.
"A dog trained to assist a child with autism can help reduce anxiety and help during meltdowns and they provide a safety aspect while out and about in the community."
Miss Harvey said the Smart Pups tended to have a positive impact on the entire family, not just the recipient.
"What the dog can do for the child tends to have a flow-on affect for the family and can reduce stress and anxiety among other family members," she said.
Smart Pups is a not-for-profit organisation based on the Sunshine Coast who provide assistance dogs to children with special needs.
For more information, visit smartpups.org.au
$5000 donated by Beach House Hotel, Beach House Hotel Fishing Club, Hervey Bay Bar Flies
$10,000 donated by Rally For a Cause
$5000 was raised by the Blum family