I’m definitely not an animal lover. It’s not that I don’t like animals. I think they’re cute, in a way. I just didn’t grow up with pets and thus have no connection with animals. I’m not a roll around on the floor with my sweet little puppy kinda gal. In addition, I run a tight ship at home. We don’t wear shoes in the house, we don’t eat messy foods in our living room, I’m pretty particular. I don’t like clutter. I really don’t like dirt. I can handle dust (I figure that’s “natural”).
A dog – clean? I mean, they have to go out in the lawn to go to the bathroom. And when it does I can’t send it out in shoes to then be removed before it comes back in! It is kind of humorous to imagine as I think about it now!
Alright, alright – I’ll get to the point, here! I think I should get my son (age 7.5, high-functioning autism) a dog. I’ve read lots of great articles over the years about therapy dogs helping kids with autism, here’s the most recent article I read in Woman’s Day. Our son isn’t anti-social but he certainly has to work harder at maintaining and sustaining peer interactions (sibling/neighbor friend). He has a shorter attention span, he has a shorter fuse, he gets upset more easily, sometimes he just doesn’t know how to play along with what his peers are doing, etc. I can completely understand the reasoning behind why many children with autism excel by having a pet. The special connection, the confidence, the unconditional love and acceptance, the non-judgmental relationship, and more.
So, this completely naive pet-person is seeking the animal-lovers advice! Please post your comments if you have experience or encouragement to share with me and others on this topic. If I’m totally wrong in my thinking and dogs aren’t as messy as I’m guessing they are… please tell me. Or, if I’m being too naive and it’s even more work or more messy than I imagine… just lay it out there! If I’m going to go down this road, I will be educated! From most of my research thus far, it seems service dogs are usually larger dogs. Any experience with organizations that train smaller breeds for children with developmental disabilities?
Thank you, I really do appreciate your comments and hopefully there are others out there who will also benefit from this discussion!
Thoughtfully Considering a Canine Friend,