I had an opportunity to work with kids with disabilities this summer with the Miracle Softball League in Champaign County here in Ohio.
Several of our Dogtors therapy dog teams volunteered and one was assigned to each team. While all the kids loved having the dogs there, I noticed in particular that several children with autism really opened up when paired with a dog.
My golden retreiver Buddy (a tripod) was a favorite of one young man. Buddy ran the bases with him each time he hit the ball. It took him 4 weeks to talk to me - he spoke to Buddy beginning week one.
Of course these are not service dogs, they are 'just' therapy dogs.
But - I learned on the last week that one of kids is in the process of getting a service dog from 4 Paws for Ability in Xenia. They are raising funds now. I hear very good things about that group and the work they do.
Thanks, Timber1. I was just trying to be clear that I was not comparing my therapy dog to a service dog, but my wording was poor. Both Buddy, my golden therapy dog and Skye, my GSD therapy dog appreciate the good words.
My Jolene is "just a rescue" that came from Pets INC. One summer day last year I was in their thrift store on a Saturday, and I had brought Jolene with me as she likes to "go". Now, Jolene is fairly skitty, but loves children, especially young girls. There was this young very autistic girl there. I talked to her mother, and she was considering a dog. Jolene went over to her and loved on her, and gave her attention. The girl just beamed and was very happy. It was amazing. The folks there were thrilled, and the mother was especially.