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"HELPING THE ARCTIC~ONE PAW AT A TIME"

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You can help this special child and his family!
Paul Daniel Petersen was born into the world 2 weeks past his due date. After his mom was given an epidural his heart rate dropped and he was delivered by emergency C-Section. His umbilical cord was wrapped twice tightly around his neck but that actually was a good thing as it helped keep the mechonium that he aspirated out. His apgar scale scores were very low and I didnít catch more than a glimpse of him for the first 5 hours as they worked on him. After he was out of the NICU, we had to teach him how to suck as he had 3 different sucking patterns and only one would work.

He was sick a lot. He had RSV 3 times, the last of which ended up with him in the hospital for a week at 2 Ĺ. At 7 months he contracted Whooping Cough. These illnesses didnít help, and eventually he was diagnosed with Asthma which would onset every time he developed a cold.

When he was almost 3, we moved in with my mother in law for 5 months when my husband was gone and in training before moving to Alaska. During that time he went into complete meltdown mode and cried, and threw fits all the time. He was also falling down and running into everything as well, and I couldnít understand what he said most of the time. The doctors didnít want to do anything at that time though I did get him in speech therapy in spite of their protests.

Once we got up to Alaska, he started getting up at 2 and 4 am and the tantrums didnít stop. We finally got him into a psychiatrist, and he started medication. It wouldnít be until 2 years later when he was finally diagnosed with Autism. ADHD, Low Muscle tone, a coordination disorder, encopresis, enuresis are just some of the other issues we deal with as well.

A dog for Daniel means security for him both emotionally and physically, and a mental relief for Mom and Dad. We are hoping that Daniel will be able to bond with the dog and that we will be able to reduce the high doses of medications that he is on. The dog will be able to track Daniel when he wanders away, provide physical stability, help him make and maintain friends, something heís never been able to do.

Danielís Dad works as a Federal Law Enforcement Officer and is in the Alaska National Guard. He is frequently absent and most of the caregiving falls on Mom. We are hoping that a dog will help free her up and she can spend more time with Danielís little sister Reagan who is 5. We homeschool and spend much of our time at therapies.
To learn more about Danielís story you can visit: www.pandcpetersenfamilyblog.blogspot.com
To learn more about Danielís story you can visit: www.pandcpetersenfamilyblog.blogspot.com
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