SUCCESS STORY: Asher & Autism Support Dog Landon

SUCCESS STORY: Asher & Autism Support Dog Landon

Earlier this year we were given an incredible gift. Landon is an Autism Support Dog, and already, after only a few short weeks, he has changed our lives.

Landon has improved our family’s lives, and especially Asher’s life in so many ways. Asher is a 9-year-old boy, who has severe Autism. He is non-verbal, and is unable to communicate for the most part. Because of his disability, Asher has a lot of challenges with compulsive behaviours, such as bolting, intense meltdowns, and self-injurious behaviours, and all of these challenges have made life understandably difficult. It is next to impossible to leave the house as a family, because of the risk of Asher running away into traffic or other dangerous situations, as he has no sense of danger. When Asher has a meltdown, it is very hard to control him, so we are very limited in what we can do together.

One of the most life-changing aspects about having Landon with us, is that he keeps Asher safe. Asher wears a special belt and is tethered to his dog’s vest, then holds onto the vest handle while we are out. Because of Landon’s training and strength, Asher is not able to run into danger anymore! We have already experienced outings together, that we haven’t been able to accomplish in years. Having peaceful public access again after so many years has brought so much freedom to our family.

At home, Landon really is the extra set of hands we have been so desperate for, since Asher requires 1:1 care at all times. Landon helps keep Asher calm and occupied in a safe manner, so we can carry on with household tasks etc. without fear that Asher will be causing a mess or getting into a dangerous situation.

A good night’s sleep is also something that has eluded Asher, as well as the rest of us, for many, many years. On the first night of Landon’s arrival, he and Asher shared a room. I was so skeptical and unsure that this would have an impact, and was even worried that having a dog in his room would make sleep even more difficult, but was I ever surprised!!! They both slept SOUNDLY and through the night, and I am happy to report that this incredible change is still a regular occurrence!

This pair’s bond is getting stronger by the day, and I can’t explain how special it is to check in on them at night, and to see them snuggled up happily together. Asher does not generally connect so readily with people in this kind of way, including his family, so seeing him so engaged and peaceful with Landon truly is a blessing.

We are SO thankful to everyone who put so much hard work, finances, and love into Landon and our journey. Thank you so much to Laura, our amazing trainer, Variety for sponsoring Landon, and of course BC & Alberta Guide Dogs for this irreplaceable gift, our only hope at a manageable life. We couldn’t be where we are today, and where our journey will continue to go without the support of so many wonderful people and organizations.

Follow this amazing Team on their very own facebook page – Landon the Wonder Dog.