Unlocking possibilities with a trusted companion

Kath, Mitchell & Maggie

From the very first few weeks in the family, Maggie the cocker spaniel astounded them all. Very quickly, she found her place as Mitchell’s friend and helper, even snugging on a favourite chair he hadn’t before felt comfortable sharing.

The impact in those first few weeks exceeded our expectations. I don’t know how she managed to change things so much, but I’m very glad she did. She was such a bonus to our family and helped to bring Mitchell on in leaps and bounds. You can’t help but smile at her.

FAMILY DOG WORKSHOPS

When her son, Mitchell, was diagnosed with autism, Kath started looking into assistance dogs. Her research helped her to decide that an assistance dog wasn’t the right choice for their family, but that a well-trained pet dog could make a huge difference. Dogs for Good’s autism family dog workshops offered a great place to start.

From the moment I walked into the first workshop, I knew it was the right thing to do. The trainers had their three dogs with them and everyone bonded instantly, smiling and playing with the dogs. I remember thinking to myself ‘if this is the positive impact three dogs can bring to a roomful of awkward adults, I can’t wait to see what one will bring to Mitchell!
Enter Maggie, exit anxiety. She’s helped to bring on Mitchell in leaps and bounds. It’s definitely one of the best things that I could ever have done for my family.

When Kath found the perfect match for Mitchell, a cocker spaniel puppy he named Maggie, the workshops helped Kath feel prepared and supported.

I hadn’t anticipated the wonderful level of support Dogs for Good provide. After the workshops, I came back with loads of useful information that I refer back to. They regularly email asking how we’re getting on and if I need anything, so I know that I’ve got back up if ever I need it.

Mitchell has joint laxity and, prior to getting Maggie, he was very anxious about walking on different surfaces. He also struggled to interact with other children.

Enter Maggie and exit anxiety. Even as a young puppy, Maggie diverted Mitchell’s attention and he didn’t mind the change in surface, which was amazing. With Maggie, he became much braver with other children, too — he learned to initiate play with her and that began to translate into his relationships with school friends.

“Getting Maggie was definitely one of the best things I could ever have done for my family.”

We can’t put a price on the power of dogs. But a gift this winter will enable more families to benefit from our workshops and support, in turn helping them to make life possible in so many ways.

Support our winter appeal to enable more people to make life possible