Sarah was diagnosed with autism at two years old. We focused all of our time and effort into ABA therapy in the hopes of finding her the help she needed. Her therapists were amazing and the differences in Sarah’s development were nothing short of remarkable. But there were still issues that we just didn’t know how to deal with. She didn’t like going out in public; the noises and people were just too overwhelming for her. School days were the most difficult because she just didn’t want to go; there were tears every day. Her behaviors made getting through the day a difficult struggle. She hadn’t made any lasting connections with her peers. She had no awareness of personal safety so anytime we were outside of our home we had to be hyper vigilant. As parents we felt like our daughter was living a very lonely life. Home was the only place she truly felt comfortable and safe.
Everything changed on January 13th of this year. That was the day we had our “playdate” with Brady. It was the day of the match visit where our daughter who had been very scared of dogs up to this point met her best friend, protector, companion, therapist, and brother. From the minute Brady walked into our home and our lives he changed everything!!! Watching the two of them together was amazing. When we went for a walk Laura spoke to Sarah about how Brady would keep her safe but that she needed to keep him safe and it was like a lightbulb went off. For the first time ever, our daughter was aware of traffic around us and her only focus was making sure her friend stayed safe. When Brady had to leave at the end of our visit Sarah was so overcome by emotion she cried. It really was a touching experience to see the connection she had made with him.
Brady officially joined our family in February. We moved and Brady was such a support to Sarah during the transition. Sarah started a new school and Brady was instrumental in her making friends. She loves talking to other children about her “autism buddy” Brady. She told me she’ll never be lonely again as long as she has her trusted fury friend. He doesn’t judge her behaviours, he lovingly accepts her for who she is. Going out to run errands and visit new places is so different now; when she starts to feel nervous or tense she just turns to her buddy and he’s there to comfort and support. She’s excited to take walks with Brady and is so careful and cautious because she needs to keep her buddy safe. When Sarah gets upset Brady is quick to show her love and affection. Sarah has never been a great sleeper and our house has always had to be very secure in order to ensure her safety, but since Brady has come to live with us I have not had to worry at all. She sleeps so soundly with her best friend lying next to her and if she does wake up he keeps her company and alerts us when she gets up. Watching the two of them play soccer in the backyard brings tears to our eyes and laughter to our hearts. Their relationship is so beautiful.
To say thank you to all of the people responsible for bringing Brady into our lives seems so inadequate. You have given us a gift that has brought us such joy and happiness. It has changed our family forever. Our daughter is happy and safe. The quality of her life has improved beyond anything we could have ever hoped for. We are so very grateful!!! Sarah often refers to her dog as a superhero and we agree, his superpower is unlocking his best friend’s superpowers too.