A family looking for a service dog for their son got a special gift.
The little boy’s name is Julian T. He is seven years old and in first grade at Holmes Park Elementary School. Julian T. has allergies and anxiety issues and had a dog that was learning to be a service dog for him. Julian’s allergies were so bad that his mother, Nicole Squirrel, re-homed the dog to a woman whose service dog had retired. Then, Ms. Squirrel investigated the cost of a trained service dog. She began a Gofundme site in November 2018 to pay for the astronomical amount of $30,000.00, which is part of the $38,000.00 price-tag.
Ms. Squirrel looked on Craigslist for a hypoallergenic dog she could use for her son. There was a standard poodle, hypoallergenic to prevent allergy issues, that was about a year old. The owners were Jennifer and Allen Billington. Jennifer Billington was offering the dog for sale, because she had received him as a birthday present and didn’t have a lot of time to devote to a puppy.
Julian’s mother couldn’t afford the dog. After hearing Julian’s story, the Billingtons decided to donate the dog to his family.
About two weeks ago, the Billingtons and the Squirrel family met at the Chamber of Commerce and the big puppy went home with Julian. The dog’s name is Weasley and he will be one year old on March 25th. Weasley lives with Julian and his family now, and is fitting right in. Ms. Squirrel is training the dog on basic commands.
She spoke with Marge at GladWags, a non-profit service dog training organization in Tulsa, who said it would cost about $30,000 to train a dog for service. However, Marge has offered to give the family a deep discount to train Weasley and Julian once a week for a year for the mere price of $1,800.00. Ms. Squirrel changed the Gofundme site to help pay for the $2,000 cost of training and specialized harnesses. So far, they have raised $5.00!
The Billingtons and Squirrels keep in touch. Ms. Squirrel said, “I was so surprised at her kindness—her husband and her.”
When the dog is fully certified as a Service Dog, in about a year from the beginning of training, the dog and boy will be allowed to go to school together to help Julian succeed in Holmes Park. It will be great news for all concerned and The Sapulpa Times will be there.
About the Author
Lottie Wilds is a native Oklahoman and a multi-talented woman—she is a mother, grandmother, Navy veteran, and lifelong creator. Lottie loves to quilt, decorate, garden, swim, paint, and write stories. She is grateful for every day she gets a chance to get it right.