The Seattle Seahawks and Brigadoon Service Dogs are teaming up to make a huge difference at Sunday's Salute to Service Game at Lumen Field.
Brigadoon will provide an Autism Focused service dog to a military family who has an autistic child. Since 2004, Brigadoon has provided service dogs to veterans, children and adults with physical, developmental and behavioral health disabilities.
When the Seahawks host the Cardinals on Sunday, the latest Brigadoon dog will be sent off to his newest family.
Hoss, a 2-year-old Australian Shepherd, is officially joining the Siqueido family.
Sam Siqueido is a member of the US Army as an infantry soldier, serving for our country since January of 2001. His son, Salem, was born with Autism and would benefit from a service dog to help him with the daily functions of life, Siqueido explained.
That's where Brigadoon founder Denise CoStanten stepped in.
Staff Sergeant Siqueido took leave from the military to visit CoStanten at the Brigadoon Headquarters in Bellingham, Wash., for some one-on-one training with Hoss. Shortly after, he brought Salem in to meet with Hoss.
"One of the first things that we have to do is to make sure that with children who have autism, the dog isn't freaked out by boisterous activity," CoStanten said. "Believe it or not, there's a lot of dogs who don't do very well with children. Hoss did a really good job."
"We don't want to force a dog to be a service dog. There's a lot of personality that has to match together (between the dog and human)."
Brigadoon dogs are trained through a prison program where they live with incarcerated veterans. The dogs live with inmates full-time while the inmates train them daily using positive reinforcement for the animals. CoStanten instructs the inmates and leaves them with books and videos instructing them how to train them into becoming service dogs.
The prison program not only trains the dogs for Brigadoon, but it also provides inmates with more positive interaction with their families, their staff and each other.
"The thing that makes my heart full is that they're getting another tool that they can use when they get out," CoStanten said.
At long last, Hoss will be handed off to Siqueidos during the Salute to Service Game. It's a fitting moment, given Staff Sergeant Siqueido's history and Brigadoon's commitment to the military.
Salute to Service is a year-round effort in the NFL to support the United States' service members, veterans and their families. It often focuses on nonprofit organizations like Brigadoon that support the military community.
Seahawks Pro Shops will donate 12% of proceeds from in-store purchases of Salute to Service gear to Brigadoon Service Dogs. Learn more about this and other Salute To Service initiatives: https://shwks.com/usg7rn