So before we got our Assistance Dog my son would not leave the house. We tried everything to get him some exercise and get him out the house but he would just refuse. His anxiety levels were through the roof if we did have to go somewhere that was out of routine e.g. the airport, hospital appointments etc. He would cry and lie on the floor and it was very upsetting for both of us and stressful.

I also would get very anxious going out to places with him as I would know it would be a struggle and he’s big for his age and he’s strong. We ended up getting him a special needs buggy so that he was safe but it didn’t help with the exercise.

Assistance Dog Marco

He has no road sense so would just cross roads or go to the top of queues in shops. It would make us as a family feel very secluded in our home. We couldn’t go out and do family things so as I have an older daughter it was either I’d be here with my son or out with her while I got someone to mind my son.

Since we have received our Assistance Dog our life has become so much better. His anxiety levels going out are much less than before, even without tears most times. Within 3 months of getting the dog, we ended up in our local playground every day and after we would walk around our housing estate which resulted in him losing 2kg. We have been able to go to the cinema twice which I thought would never happen for my son and when we have flown, he has been great at the airport. He has been to see Santa at Xmas time and we have been to our local shopping centre numerous times. For me, it helps a lot with peoples’ perception of my son, before I have had rude comments about people thinking he’s just a naughty child so now they have more of an understanding that he’s a little different to other children.

My doggie means everything to me. He’s done so much for me and my family and I can never thank him enough. He is so well suited to my family and has me in fits of laughter at some of the things he does. When he’s at home he’s just like a pet but as soon as that jacket goes on, he’s like  a different dog and he knows it’s time to help my son. He’s the most beautiful dog I’ve ever seen and I get a lot of comments from people about how well behaved he is. My whole family would be lost without him.

Gemma Kane

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