“4 Paws is in the business of people. In our experience, in the business of kids. Being a piece of the 4 Paws network is like having your very own highly trained special agent service in your kitchen cabinet, right beside the cereal. You see, it’s one thing to deeply understand the canine species and its capacity- I’d equate that to a typical security team, well equipped and ready in general for the assumed needs. And it’s one thing to understand and formulate ideas and plans to support children’s development and daily functional living-that’s like SWAT level business. But here’s where 4 Paws comes in- they are undeniably connected to and deeply passionate about the success of children that they find the best breeders, to yield the best puppies, to train with the best skill sets by the best volunteers and foster team, supported by the best staff. Only to critically examine each service dog family team and child to make the best match. That art of perfection is like a marriage of James Bond and Batman. It’s unbeatable.
The thing is 4 Paws service dogs are all over North America at work, at this very minute. The jobs are all so uniquely different and specially tailored for their child or veteran. It’s special ops, happening right now as we take this moment, there is a dog de-escalating a PTSD panic attack, another tracking the scent of its lost child, a dog doing the over task on a frantic nonverbal child, another at sleep away camp with their kid camper for the first time, and yet another service dog barking to alert of a deadly seizure about to ensue, giving the parents of that child time to administer rescue medicine and call 911. It’s 4 legged furry peace of mind special ops.
Happenstance is defined as a circumstance especially that is due to chance. I prefer to look at happenstance as a Rube Goldberg machine, multiple parts that initiate the next set of reactions. Because it took a whole lot of happenstance to make the ‘Roosterandhisboy’ perfect match. So many moving parts that I’ll never know about them all. I know of the seemingly insignificant conversation with a colleague about service dogs after I met a random woman with a seizure alert service dog on the one night out I’d had in a year. Happenstance. An email of all the service animal organizations in the province that followed from that colleague that seemed just as intrigued. Happenstance. And the many dead ends and brick walls that I encountered- there simply isn’t a service dog provided for your child’s needs in Canada. He is too ‘high needs,’ it’s too specialized. Then in an airport I picked up a magazine about dogs because I wasn’t interested in the next Hollywood, get in shape, be the best you, this year read. There was a several page spread on 4 Paws. Happenstance. I phoned and the staff on the other end asked questions I had never been asked before- the kind that were intuitive and thoughtful and I felt a great deal or relief and acceptance and understanding and empathy I’d never been given before. She said, yes! Happenstance. A husband of a colleague of a colleague I’d never met, who happened to have heard about a child in crisis needing a service dog and was looking for a donation recipient. Happenstance. Then a pandemic came and a shuffle in our timeline to receive a dog came quickly. Happenstance.
The perfect match had been made. You see, the Rooster in the Lunar calendar protects from evil and harm. Rooster is our red haired service dog that is highly specialized in protecting his red haired boy. His demeanor, his motor planning tasks, his behavior redirection tasks, and his seizure alert task all protect my child. Rooster gives his family the highly specialized peace of mind that 4 Paws is in the business of. But for this perfect match to happen, happenstance was happening all the while without us even knowing- someone had to whisper in Roosters ear when he was born his purpose in life, a whole group of highly special people had to whelp, raise, foster and train this 4 legged furry perfect match special ops peace of mind. Someone had to write the article in the dog magazine for me to see. A whole bunch of wonderfully awesome strangers had to attend a fundraiser to help pay for Rooster’s way to his perfect match. Wonderfully awesome strangers making happenstances for the families in crisis all over in need of a 4 legged furry special ops peace of mind. To happenstance- thank you!”
-Written by the mother of Harrison and service dog Rooster
A team since July 2020