One of my goals with The Bolo Project is to call attention to the remarkable role service dogs play in changing lives. Bolo’s destiny is to provide life changing service that will enhance and create new independence for someone visually impaired, blind, or deaf-blind. There are countless service, therapy, and assistance dogs who are heroes in the truest sense of the word. Read on to learn about one such Hero, Don, a handsome yellow lab that has opened up an whole new world for young Zach Esposito and his family (written by mom, Carol Esposito).
This is Don our handsome service dog that we received from Heeling Autism for our son Zach. Heeling Autism dogs are trained to primarily prevent a child from bolting into streets, crowds and many other dangerous situations.
Since Don’s arrival, he and Zack are tethered together and walk as if they have been friends forever. In just the short 2 months we have had Don, Zach has not tried to run away from us into dangerous situations. It may be hard to imagine the huge sense of relief that this has brough to us.
My son has never been a big dog fan, but by the second night of having Don home with us he was brushing him and playing fetch! Zach who has limited verbal capacity tells Don to come to bed and Don immediately gets up and follows Zach to bed and sleeps next to his bed till Zach wakes. We have had many children and adults come over to see Don and have brought many social interaction scenarios for Zach. Though Zach can not carry on a conversation he is able to tell them his name is Don, that he is yellow and is 3 years old. Socialization skills are very delayed with most autistic children so these interactions with strangers will help Zach be more confident when meeting strangers and fellow dog lovers! We have seen the confidence and delight on Zach’s face when he gets to tell people about his new buddy! Don makes Zach feel safer, calmer and more grounded in this world. We can’t wait to see what other wonderful things this amazing dog will bring to our family! We are so fortunate to have received this gift!