A wish fulfilled

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Donations from a local dog trainer and a breeder fulfilled a Gordonville family's wishes much sooner than they expected. Nicholas McAdams' family had hoped to raise $9,800 for an assist dog for the 2-year-old autistic child.

When Mike Pind read about the family's plight in the Southeast Missourian, he volunteered his time for training and said he'd find a dog too. A 4-week-old puppy the McAdams named Myracle will become that assist dog for Nicholas. Because the dog is still so young, it hasn't left its mother or the breeding facility owned by Renee Aufdenberg.

Pind had thought about getting an older dog but believes there should be a strong bond between Nicholas and his assist dog. Since the two will nearly be growing up together, that bond should develop.

Myracle comes from a long line of pedigreed show dogs. That lineage and patience are expected to make him ideal for the assist dog work. Also, golden retrievers are primarily used for this type of work.

When the dog is old enough -- around 5 months -- basic obedience training will begin. The entire training process will take 18 months. Pind is a reputable local trainer who has worked with police dogs in the past. He's also volunteered to visit 4 Paws for Ability, a nonprofit group that trains assist dogs for autistic children.

The outpouring of help for the McAdams family is just another example of how residents in Southeast Missouri care for their neighbors.

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