My son wouldn’t have made it through quarantine this beautifully if it weren’t for his dog, Cadbury.
I must confess: I wasn’t a dog person.
It was the idea of one more thing to be responsible for and clean up after. I couldn’t picture the daily walks, handling poopy bags, and vacuuming dog fur.
I had heard of this program called Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) and that these dogs do wonders for kids with special needs, even Down syndrome. So I signed up and, miraculously, we got accepted.
After every interaction with CCI from the interview process to the long two week training, I discovered: what a dog adds to a family is incalculable.
I realized it the day Knightly met Cadbury and he wouldn’t stop wanting to hug him. And, despite Knightly’s jostling and pulling, Cadbury was wonderfully patient with him. They played together. They ran around. They lay down staring at each other. And I finally got that powerful phrase: “a boy and his dog”.
Then, COVID hit. Schools were closed. And we had to stay home.
I saw Knightly wrestling with the changes, so sad to miss his friends and school, so sad to not be able to go on the playground or the pool, not understanding why so much had changed.
And if it weren’t for a dog, his dog, our dog, Cadbury, he wouldn’t have made it through this beautifully.
Everyday, he has his friend. He wakes up to find him. He always tries to hug him, pet him and mumbles a phrase that, even though no one else understands, I know means, “Good dog”. Cadbury’s been his classmate, his therapy buddy, his confidante, his friend.
When I let myself reflect on the blessings of this intense unprecedented season, I absolutely must list Cadbury, our dog.
Let’s hear it for our dogs, for the gentle creatures, the fur family that we wake up to and help us get up and enjoy the day.
Introducing our latest How-To video for all abilities:
How-to feed and take care of your dog for kids and people of all abilities!