Saturday 9 October 2021

Assistance Dog 101

This is what post meltdown now looks like in our household. 

Before Henry was placed with us, meltdowns could last for hours. Now, Henry picks up on L's change in emotional state before a meltdown begins and he can usually calm L very quickly.

One evening last month, L was having a rough afternoon. He wasn't in meltdown but was very close to it. This confused Henry, he really wasn't sure what L needed. Henry was on alert, it was as if he sensed something was wrong. He would not take his eyes off of L. But once L entered meltdown mode, Henry stepped in and took over. 

Henry was nuzzling L's face to try to stop L from hurting his head. Henry was laying over L, providing deep pressure to L's legs which calms L. Henry was nudging L's arms every time L moved them back towards his face, reminding L "I'm here, pat me." And Henry lay on L until L was ready to interact with Henry and myself. All this without being prompted by myself. 

Watching just how quickly Henry can calm L when he begins to enter meltdown mode, is truly amazing. Henry's training kicks in and he takes over. 

And once L was calm and able to verbalise to me, he said "Henry amazing, he really helps me." 

When an individual tells you that their service dog is life changing, please believe them. 

Henry has truly been life changing for L and for our family.

This is a service dog in action.

#teamhenry #labradorsofinstagram #servicedog #assistancedogs #autismassistancedogs #littlesuperheroes #smartpups

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