Testimony by Robert & Autism Support Dog Danny
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 and he’s a two-year-old beautiful black Labrador, who came into our home in November 2017 – bringing happiness and unconditional love. With his beautiful brown eyes, shiny coat and big wet cold nose, he melts our hearts just looking at us.
He is a true friend, companion and support for our five-year-old son Robert, who was diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) when he was four.
Robert is very smart, very friendly and verbal, but he uses script language most of the time and is less functional talking. He likes to be around people and kids, but does not interact with them too much.
Did we mention that Robert very cute with his strawberry blond hair and a dimple in his right cheek?
Changes were immediate
We saw changes in our son the first day Danny set foot in our home. Robert’s face lit up when he woke up the first morning and saw Danny in his bedroom. Right away he started right calling Danny’s name and wanted him to join in his play in the basement. It was music to our ears to hear Robert say, “Come Danny! Let’s go downstairs!” and “Come Mommy! Come Daddy!”
A few days ago, Robert invited Danny on to the trampoline and in the ball pit and they had so much fun together playing. Shopping and going for a walk is easier and safer for us now, with Robert tethered to Danny. Also, Robert says, “my dog” and we see on his face how proud he is to hold on to the handle and walk along with Danny.
Danny makes a difference
When off-leash, they follow each other and it’s heartwarming to watch them bond. We get good feedback from Robert’s school too. Our son engages more in school activities and is calmer since Danny came along.
Danny is so intelligent, calm, well behaved and well trained. He learns and adapts immediately to every demand or new situation.
Without the service dog jacket, he’s playful and goofy. He runs like a horse at the off-leash park, plays with other dogs and loves his food. When it’s meal time, the face he makes when we ask him if he’s hungry, is priceless.
As soon as we put his service jacket on him, Danny becomes this gorgeous, gentle and protective giant that helps us get around as a family. Danny has been with us a short time but settled in quickly. He has bounded into our hearts in a big way!
The greatest experience
Having a child with autism exposes us to so many challenges. But we would miss so many experiences, ideas and emotions if we didn’t live with autism.
The greatest experience is Danny, who came from Alberta & BC Guide Dogs. We are so grateful for that!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to the staff, volunteers and supporters of BC and Alberta Guide Dogs. God bless you all for your hard work, dedication and support.