Testimony by Holden & Autism Support Dog Jewel
What a blessing! Jewel came to us at the end of January and so many things have changed for us because of this beautiful dog!
Before Jewel, as life before she arrived is now called, it was an ordeal when we went out. I had to be sure someone had Holden, our 12-year-old son, in their grasp at all times. This meant avoiding going to any stores with him because I had to let go of his hand to pay. We arranged all our walks for areas in which he couldn’t bolt. We arranged everything around where we could safely go with Holden. No more! Thanks to Jewel, we can go anywhere, tether her to Holden, and trust that he can’t run. That’s better for me and that’s better for Holden. He’s like any 12-year-old, he has no desire to hold hands with Mom or Dad. Jewel gives him freedom too.
Having Jewel with him gives Holden the confidence he didn’t have before. He walks with his head high now. He practically struts through the mall, showing her off. And best of all, he’s not afraid of random dogs when Jewel is with him. She gives him a sense of security. She’s clearly not a guard dog by anyone else’s standards, but to Holden, she’s protection and security. We can walk trails without worry that he might get very scared. It’s incredible! The first time we were out walking and some dogs ran for us, I braced myself for the screaming, but it never came. The first time!
We can do anything and go anywhere now. It’s truly a blessing and I cannot thank the people of BC & Alberta Guide Dogs/Autism Support Dogs enough. Their hard work and dedication to our communities is truly a blessing in our lives.