This moving story truly deserves to be put out there for all the right reasons. In this world where not many people have tolerance and compassion for people with special needs, the tenderness and care brought about by our canine companions come handy.
Chester is a therapy dog, put on a noble mission of changing the life of a boy named Alex Duthie. Alex, now aged seven has had quite a childhood. He was officially diagnosed to have autism at the age of four, but his parents Anna and Adrian noticed the signs way much sooner. As an infant, everything seemed ordinary until after he reached the tender age of 8 to 9 months old. During his first birthday, his parents got more convinced of his differences from among other children his age.
Challenging and as painstaking the process may be, his parents had to endure a long process leading to the results of Alex’s diagnosis. With this, they became more aware of his condition and have acknowledged how the future would be like for their son. Suffering from sensory processing disorder (SPD), means aversion towards bright lights, loud sounds and even sensitivity to the breeze as it catches his skin. All these causing triggers of either an uncontrollable meltdown or a shutdown. His symptoms were extremely debilitating and limiting that he hardly gets the chance to be outdoors.
Their world was turned upside down when Chester came into their lives. They met him in 2017 from Support Dogs in Sheffield, UK. This group specializes in training dogs using positive reinforcement and reward-based techniques. In the end, it not only brings assistance to children with special needs but improves the lives of these dogs as well by putting them into nurturing and loving families.
Alex and Chester was a match made in heaven. With Chester around, Alex feels safe doing certain things that were far more threatening before. He is now able to go out in public with ease, and just recently in a careless turn of events, Chester made him start using his speech again.
With years ahead of them, who knows what other amazing things they can achieve together.
Learn more about this family’s heartwarming story in the video below: