Shortlisted for an award is a Springador therapy dog who is assisting an autistic owner in living independently.
A THERAPY DOG has been nominated for a top prize after helping its autistic owner go from seldom leaving the house to living independently.
Ruth Gregory first met Ryder the Springador four years ago, when it appeared unlikely that the 25-year-old would live past Christmas. Ruth has autism and Mast Cell Activation Disorder, which means she can’t eat since it’s too painful and has to be tube fed.
Ryder, an assistance dog from Autism Dogs CIC, has helped Ruth grow from strength to strength since entering her owner’s life, something Ruth’s mother, Kim Gregory, felt would never happen.
The five-year-old puppy has been nominated for a prize in the Naturo SuperDog Awards 2021, which will be decided by an online vote.
Kim told TeamDogs that victory would mean the world to Ruth: “Ruth would be overjoyed because he is so deserved.”
“He has been such a lifeline for her, she was so sick at one point.
“She was even warned she might not make it to Christmas at one time, and I was told she was that sick in September, and it’s just turned everything around.”
“He has responded to emergencies without explicit instruction to do so,” Ruth stated of Ryder’s emotional and physical assistance to Ruth. When he couldn’t rouse me after I fell unconscious on the floor at home alone, he barked for aid.
“When I had a head injury, he brought me a phone and then sat at my side until help arrived.
“He’s been in ambulances, slept with me on hospital beds after major surgery, licked tears away while I’ve been crying out in agony, and even alerted me to a break-in.”
With Ruth having meltdowns virtually every day, the therapy dog was able to recognize when she was in distress.
They are now an uncommon occurrence, thanks to the comfort he affords her.
“His support keeps me calm and prevents the early surge in anxiety and sensory overload,” Ruth continued.
“He nearly always steps in before I have a nervous breakdown.”
“My anxiety is mounting, and my dog knows this,” she added, describing a meltdown. “Brinkwire Summary News,” he says with a push of his head.