Kyle and Ranger – our 2019 poster boys.

Updated: Sep 29, 2020

Hello! As I mentioned in last week’s blog, this week is appeal week for Assistance Dogs New Zealand. If you’re out and about, you’ll see our tables set up in various collection spots, asking for donations from the public.

Every year we are out there, we are also raising awareness of our organisation, as well as the much needed donations. Thank you to all our helpers, collectors, organisers and volunteers. Oh…and thank you to the ADNZT dogs! They are incredibly busy too this week! All the puppies and dogs in training are needed to be with either their handlers or volunteers, to sit at collection points and interact with our generous public.

You may also notice our posters for this year, which feature a great team – Klye, Ranger and Kyle’s Mum, Cheryl. Back in March, I had the privilege of meeting this trio and taking some photographs of them for our posters and campaign paraphernalia. I have known Ranger since he was 6 weeks old, and have seen him go through puppy raising, training and graduation. It truly is fantastic to see him now working with Kyle, so I thought you might like to read a bit about our poster boys. Thanks to Cheryl (Klye’s Mum) for her contribution to this weeks blog, and many thanks to them all for the wonderful day of photography we had earlier in the year.

A relaxed walk wit the help of Ranger

Ranger was one of 10 puppies born at the end of 2016. We have met some of his ‘R’ litter siblings in previous blogs, and I’m sure we’ll meet more as they come through their graduations.

Ranger was puppy raised in Hamilton, and went to Auckland to be trained specifically for Kyle who had been on the waiting list, waiting for the perfect match. Ranger spent his time in Auckland being trained during the day, but being boarded at Kings College, with the boarders there, in term time. He graduated in May 2018.

Kyle’s Mum, Cheryl, had first thought about an assistance dog before they were even in New Zealand, when she read somewhere that a family was raising funds to bring a dog in from the USA for their child in need. Kyle was very young then, but as he grew older and became more difficult, Cheryl remembered about the dog coming in from the USA. A google search for information delighted her, as Assistance Dogs New Zealand had been started and was now an option. After being accepted onto the waiting list, a chance visit to Karapiro confirmed it was the right thing for Kyle, when they met Isla with her Assistance dog Bo.

Cheryl would like to publicly thank the Morton Family and the Te Puna Speed Shear who kick started their fundraising for Ranger. The rest of the funds were raised from their very generous community and was also helped through a feature article in the Waitomo times about Kyle.

Before Rangers arrival, Kyle was presenting his family with many behavioural challenges, both at home and in public. For example, getting Kyle in and out of the car was a challenge, to say nothing of his behaviour while they were at their destination. It was easier to leave him at home with other family members than to take him out for errands, even as basic as supermarket shopping. However, that situation couldn’t continue long term. Kyle has a cat that he loves dearly. At the time, the cat often provided the distraction and comfort needed. With Kyles great love of animals, a similar bond with an ADNZT dog seemed likely, and a logical thing to aim for.

After Ranger graduated from his training in Auckland, he was introduced to Kyle on the 17th July 2018. Not only did he have a positive effect on Kyle, but also his whole family.

Those simple tasks that other families take for granted now became a reality for this family. With Rangers help, Kyle is able to join the family on outings, including supermarket shopping! Rangers presence means there is no fuss, and no fear of Kyle running away.

Kyle is attached to Ranger through a belt fastening, and when walking, Cheryl or whoever is walking with them, holds the lead to Ranger. Walking while just holding a lead is so much simpler and enjoyable than dragging an uncooperative child.

Other benefits that Cheryl mentions include:

– Being able to sit Kyle with Ranger and go and order some food knowing he won’t take off.

– Being able to go to the public toilet knowing they will be there when you get back.

– Even when doing those little tasks like cutting finger nails, Ranger plays his part by modelling having his nails done as well.

– Walking in town, and using the commands for Ranger is being absorbed by Kyle and in turn, helping with his safety awareness around roads, curbs and crossings too.

– Sometimes, when it is appropriate, Kyle is now able to take hold of Rangers lead. This makes him very proud!

– Kyle loves to share things with Ranger, and takes delight in showing him any certificates he gets from school. They also share many kisses:-).

Since Ranger’s arrival, Kyle and his family have also enjoyed two holidays that wouldn’t have been possible without Ranger. The biggest and best of these was when they won a trip to watch the All Blacks play in Wellington. The trip involved flying on a plane, lots of people, new environments, motels, cafes, and restaurants to name just a few experiences that wouldn’t have been possible for Kyle without Rangers help. Kyle did get anxious, but when he feels like that, he turns to Ranger who somehow works his magic, provides the necessary comfort and diffuses the situation.

If you’d like to see more of the adventures of Kyle and Ranger, they have a facebook page that you’re welcome to ‘like’. It’s called ‘Companion for Kyle’.

If you’d like to be a regular part of helping people like Kyle and his family, have a think about sponsoring a puppy for $5.00 a week. With your help, our puppies get to grow up and become champions like Ranger.

Have a great week. Remember to say hi to our collectors if you see them out there.

Cheers for now,