Crumlin dad launches service dog campaign for his son

by Dublin Gazette
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A Crumlin dad has launched a campaign to raise funds for a service dog for his five-year-old son, who is due to start school this September.

Little Harrison Humphrey was diagnosed with Autism when he was two and a half, and was non-verbal until he was almost four.

Now, Harrison is due to start school this September, with his dad Dean campaigning to raise the money for animal lover Harrison to have a service dog for when he begins school.

“He loves animals, all animals, but he loves dogs especially. We live quite close to a park where people walk dogs, and if I was to leave the front door open and Harrison went missing, I’d know where he’s gone!

“It’s going to be a difficult transition in Harrison’s life, starting school, so we’re hoping a service dog would be able to help Harrison if he was to become over-stimulated or over-excited in the classroom by the whole thing,” Dean told Dublin Gazette.

As service dogs can assist in increasing safety levels and alleviating bolting behaviours, providing independence and freedom, and introducing a calming effect as well as friendship to a child with autism.

“It’s not just for school, either. He has a tendency to run around places, if we got out of a car or anything in a car park, he tends to run because he thinks he’s playing hide and seek or chasing or something, or he can get quite upset in shopping centres and places like that.

“We’re hoping that having a service dog will change all that or help him out.”

In addition to the GoFundMe page, Dean has been organising several other fundraising events, all in an effort to raise the money needed to get Harrison some canine support.

“We did bag packing in Dunnes Stores in Kilnamanagh about two weeks ago.

“We’re doing a sponsored walk on March 28 in Tymon North Park, called Do It For The Dog, with a lot of people signed up and sponsor cards and everything, and it’s only January!”

Currently, Dean is looking to raise €10,000, with the funds raised going toward a support dog for Harrison.

Any remaining funds will be donated to the organisation My Canine Companion, who specialise in Autism support dogs.

To donate to the campaign, please visit gofundme.com/f/canine-companion-for-harrison.

For more information on My Canine Companion, visit mycaninecompanion.ie.

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