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A dream come true

For the past two years, Orana Client Hayden has lived in his own Supported Independent Living house located in Whyalla. While Hayden sometimes shares his home with another client, he often misses his family, including the family pets. As a result, Hayden tends to visit home more regularly and stays away for longer periods.

Hayden has expressed an interest in owning, caring and looking after a dog at his Orana home and how much it would mean to him. Hayden took it upon himself to arrange a meeting with Rebecca, Orana’s Whyalla Service Manager and mentioned that he wanted a dog. Rebecca was very proud that Hayden used his voice and advocated for himself. Hayden has been encouraged by Orana that he is in control of his decisions, and he has the right to live the life of his choice. This has given Hayden the confidence to speak up and advocate for his dreams and aspirations.

Rebecca and the Client Coaches had several conversations with Hayden around the responsibilities and the benefits of having a dog. Hayden accepted that this would be a dream come true and a goal he would work towards and started saving his money.

To make Hayden’s dreams come true, Rebecca spoke with Suzanne, General Manager of Independent Living to support Hayden’s request. It was swiftly managed to ensure that Hayden’s wishes were followed up and supported.

Hayden’s family were actively involved in selecting a small puppy. Hayden was super excited when his family surprised him with his new puppy, and the family was kind enough to share the first moments through a few photos. Hayden has called her Maggie, after the person that the dog came from.

A big thank you to Orana staff, Suzanne and Kelly, for making this happen very quickly. Plans for the future include regular walks along the Whyalla foreshore and wetlands, installing a doggie door and a meet and greet, playdates with Client Coaches and the Whyalla Service Manager.

This is an incredible outcome for Hayden and his new best friend, Maggie.

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