All about Gemma
Dogs help humans in so many ways. They help with companionship, with tasks that they carry out for us and sometimes they help make every day living much easier. Perhaps the best demonstration of this fact is when dogs help people with disabilities. Many of us have seen dogs helping blind people and many have heard of dogs that feel when a seizure in an epileptic person is about to occur and then protect them from injury. Dogs can also help aid autistic children and parents of autistic children in many ways as well. Recent studies suggest that the prevalence of autistic children in Canada may be 1 in 165 children or higher. Therefore, many people may well personally know of an autistic child in their extended family, or know of friends or acquaintances that have an autistic child. So how can dogs help these autistic children?
The National Service Dogs (NSD) organization in Ontario Canada, is one of the best organizations that specifically help train dogs to make the lives of autistic children better. You might be wondering how a service dog can be useful to autistic children
- carly madine
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From that first time we saw her... shy at the back of the kennel at the SPCA, scared and timid from the neglect she saw at her previous home.. we knew we had to take 6 month old Gemma home. She just fit in so well, and my sister and I ensured that she got all the exercise she needed by turning her into our "horse" and teaching her to jump over our home made showjumps. She had a rough first year, getting attacked by a German Shepherd and jumping up at the stove and spilling boiling water on herself... she was bald on about 1/4 of her right side for the rest of her life. After those obstacles, however, she came to become one of the happiest, friendliest dogs ever known. She loved walks (anywhere), getting her belly rubbed, and carrots.. and hated storms, cats, and surround sound!
When we moved here to Canada she came with us, enduring what must have been a traumatizing 9 hour flight, but eventually she was back to her old self soon enough, enjoying the warm weather and big yard.
I'll always remember how the little brat acted sooo tough, barking like crazy at whoever walked by or came to the house.. then lavishing them with kisses and fawning over them. The same went for other dogs she saw.. she'd go crazy barking at them, then get up close and be shy and sometimes scared, despite her big size. She was truly a soft hearted, loving animal.
Today.. she passed on. A lump on her back thigh prevented her from passing anything and she was in a lot of pain. However, I can't get over the fact that my parents didn't give me a chance to say goodbye. I was at work, I had no idea, and they let her go. I would have loved to tell her a few things before she was gone.. that I didnt mean to push her away when I was grumpy, or yell at her for barking at people... that I loved her always and I will never have another dog.