We will start by saying that getting a service dog for our son, was one of the best decisions we ever made! His name is Danny, he’s a 2 year old beautiful black Labrador, who came into our home in November 2017 and he brought happiness and unconditional love. With his beautiful brown eyes, shiny hair and his big wet cold nose, he’s melting our hearts just looking at us. He is a true friend, companion and support for our 5 year old son, Robert, who was diagnosed with ASD when he was 4.
Robert is very smart, very friendly, he’s verbal, but he’s using script language most of the time, and less functional talking. He likes to be around people and kids, but he’s not interacting with them too much. Did we mention that he’s very cute, with his strawberry blond hair and a dimple in his right cheek?
We saw changes in our son, since Danny’s first day in our home. Robert’s face lit up when he woke up the first morning, and he saw Danny in his bedroom. He started right away calling Danny’s name and he wanted him to join in his play in the basement. It was music to our ears to hear Robert saying: “Come Danny! Let’s go downstairs!” and he kept talking about 3-4 short sentences, including “Come Mommy! Come Daddy!”
A few days ago Robert invited Danny on the trampoline and in the ball pit, and they had fun together playing. Shopping and going for a walk became much easier for us now, as we have Robert tied up to Danny and we know that he’s safe. Also Robert mentioned a few times “my dog” and we can see on his face how proud he is to hold on to the handle and to walk along with Danny.
At off leash they follow each other and it’s so heartwarming to watch them bonding so well. We got a good feedback from school too! Robert is more engaging in the activities and more calm since Danny came along. Danny is so intelligent, calm, well behaved, very well trained, and he’s learning and adapting immediately to every demand or new situation.
Without jacket he’s very playful and goofy, he’s running like a horse at the off leash park, he’s playing with other dogs… and he loves his food! When it’s eating time, the face that he makes when we are asking him if he’s hungry, it’s priceless! As soon as we put his service jacket on him, he just becomes this gorgeous gentle and protective giant that helps us getting around as a family. Danny has been with us for short time, but he settled really quickly, and he has bounded into our hearts in a big way!
Having a child with autism has exposed us to so many challenges, but we would’ve missed so many experiences, ideas and emotions if we weren’t living with autism. For sure the greatest experience is Danny, who came from Alberta & BC Guide Dogs and we are so grateful for that!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to the staff, volunteers and supporters of Alberta & BC Guide Dogs! God bless you all for your hard work, dedication and support!!!
Marinela and Marius