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Pet Tip

Service Dogs and Autistic Children – Pet Tip 253

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

Curta Pollard
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Province, Country:
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Norweigan Forest Cat
Date of Birth:
August 1996
Date of Death
October 2001
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Coat Colour:
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Eye Colour:
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Iggy was a BEAUTIFUL cat with a wonderful personality. He came to us in August of 1999, starving and alone. He was very frightened of everyone, and would only eat the food we offered him if we stepped a certain distance away. But when I was the only one left sitting outside (after everyone gave up), this gorgeous and delicate cat walked up to me and sat in my lap, purring uncontrollably. We took him in and gave him the most loving home a cat could have. He loved to be held, and he was very playful. He loved attention as well. We sure did spoil him, but he never became rotten. He was half an indoor cat and half an outdoor cat. He loved to play outside with kids and hunt live animals (and bring them to us as presents!) and wander off....and we will never know where exactly he wandered off to....but I can almost see him having the time of his life with nature. When inside, he liked to sleep in our laps and play with our dog. Iggy came to me at a difficult time in my life. Ever since I was born, I have suffered depression and have been through beatings, emotional scarring, and rape. I have been in and out of institutions and suicide has always been beside me. And when I was feeling so dead inside that I just wanted to suck up everything in me, this little cat walks into my life. He made me feel like I had a reason for living, and I promised to take care of him for as long as I lived. I remember the winters when Iggy would be out late, the snow coming down hard, and I would worry for him the way a mother worries for her child when he is lost in the woods with the neighborhood kids. I would bundle up and search all of Bay Pointe for him, and he would always trot up to me, meowing a cry of happiness....a little "here I am", his bell on his collar jingling with every step. Iggy made me feel something that I had never felt before, love. He loved me like no one else had ever loved me, and he didn't care about the mistakes I made....he only wanted to be there for me, to bring me happiness....and he did. But, as done so many times to me in the past, my happiness was ripped away in what seemed like a very short while. In October of 2001, Iggy didn't come home for a whole day....and I worried myself to tears. A day turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months. I later found out that many of my other neighbor's cats were missing too. A couple of months later, a neighbor found half of Iggy's collar...the half with the tags...there was blood on the tags, and that's when I knew that some horrible, sorry excuse for a living being had killed the spirit of my life. When Iggy first came to me, I thought that God had sent him, that he was the angel sent to protect me and watch over me. And, though he's gone now, I still believe that he is watching over me and protecting me....just from a different place. Still, I miss him terribly, and every night I sit on my front porch, just waiting and hoping that I could hear his little meow and his bells....and I never hear them. Everything inside of me was murdered, and I can only cry....and cry and cry.

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