It’s rare that our daughter, Kate, would step outside the door without her autism service dog, Oakley. After more than a year together he is an extension of her, and she to him. They are a pair and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Oakley provides Kate with companionship, deep pressure for self-regulation, and most importantly a safe and cozy anchor to keep her from wandering off. Most recently, we found that Oakley has also helped Kate with socialization in the classroom. She comes on strong, you see, and the other children seem to forgive that because of her super cool friend.
Above you can see Kate seeking deep pressure for her joints by rolling on her ninety pound pal. He seems to quite like these massages as well. And below, you can see how he supported Kate at the dentist. A scary and unwelcoming place that immediately became safer with her boy by her side.
Oakley goes to school with Kate each day. The other children have learned to leave him be so he can do his job and Kate gets what she needs to help her navigate the school day. It can be a challenge to avoid reaching out to pat the handsome guy but her classmates handle it well. Better than the grown-ups, some might say.
The staff of the school was even so kind as to make sure Oakley had his school photo taken. He is, of course, considered a staff member now, and the most handsome one at that.
So, you see, our girl and her boy, are inseparable in the very best way. And in my humble opinion, they are two of the very best souls to ever have crossed your path.