Autistic Boy Lives A Happier Life Thanks To His New Service Dog

Parents of autistic children are always so determined to do everything they can to help their kids live happy and fulfilling lives. So when these parents heard that a service dog could help their autistic son, Matthew, they didn’t hesitate.

Facebook / Matthew’s 4Paws Friend

All parents try to do what is best for their kids, but the parents of autistic or special needs children often have to go above and beyond in order to provide for their sons and daughters.

Matt and Annelle Peleschak are the proud parents of Matthew, an 11-year-old boy who suffers from autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Matthew was diagnosed with autism at the age of 5, and it still remains a very confusing disorder for many people.

The truth is that autism comes in many forms, so we should never simply judge or label someone in a certain way, just because they happen to suffer from this disorder. Some autistic sufferers have problems socializing, while others are perfectly capable of communicating and making friends.

Matthew falls into the latter category. He doesn’t have any issues with talking to people, but he does have a tendency to feel anxious and afraid in new environments or situations, and he also has a habit of wandering away and getting himself lost.

Luckily, Matthew’s parents do all they can to make his life as enjoyable and safe as possible. While researching different methods to help their son, Matt and Annelle learned that service dogs are often used to help autistic children stay safe.

It took a while for the family to raise the necessary funds, but they were eventually able to adopt Sammy, a golden retriever who was soon to become Matthew’s new best buddy.

As you can see in the pictures above and below, Sammy is always by Matthew’s side.

Courtesy of Matthew Peleschak

Courtesy of Matthew Peleschak

Matthew’s dad shared these photos on one of his social media accounts, showing just how big of an impact Sammy had had on Matthew’s life. Normally, when Matthew had to go to the dentist, he would get really scared and anxious.

Now, with Sammy be his side, the 11-year-old has no fear. The dog often lies across his pal’s legs to let him know he’s there, helping Matthew feel safe and secure at all times.

Whenever Matthew has to go somewhere new or enter a scary situation, Sammy is there to make him feel better.

Courtesy of Matthew Peleschak

Courtesy of Matthew Peleschak

Matt shared the following caption along with one of the images, explaining exactly how Sammy is able to look after Matthew:

Matthew had his follow up appointment from his dental surgery this fall. Everything looks great! Sammy did an awesome job controlling Matthew’s legs while the dentist worked. After this picture was taken, Sammy jumped all the way up on the chair and laid his head on Matthew’s shoulder, which totally distracted him while the dentist scrapped some tartar off his teeth. Overall, an excellent appointment!

Courtesy of Matthew Peleschak

Courtesy of Matthew Peleschak

But it’s not only in scary situations that Sammy lends a hand. He’s with Matthew every single day, keeping him company, helping him stay calm and offering him lots of love and affection!

Courtesy of Matthew Peleschak

Courtesy of Matthew Peleschak

And Matthew’s parents no longer have to worry about their son wandering off on his own anymore, all thanks to Sammy.

In the past, even a simple trip to the supermarket was filled with danger and stress for Matthew’s parents, as they always had to keep a close eye on Matthew in case he walked away.

His dad said, “Before, I would need to hold Matthew’s hand to prevent him from running off. Because of his lack of perception of safety, when he would run off, he would frequently put himself in danger.”

Naturally, Matt and Annelle were concerned about losing their son. Countless scary news stories have taught us that only a single moment of inattention can be enough for a child to wander off and get lost.

Courtesy of Matthew Peleschak

Courtesy of Matthew Peleschak

Luckily, with Sammy around, that sort of thing just won’t happen.

Sammy and Matthew are connected by a leash, and if Matthew starts to wander a little too far away, Sammy will safely guide him back to his parents.

Matt also stated that even if Matthew tried to run away, “he would need to drag Sammy along, which slows him down enough until I can reach him. He is not getting very far [or going] very fast dragging a 75-pound dog!”

Courtesy of Matthew Peleschak

Courtesy of Matthew Peleschak

In the very unlikely event that Matthew somehow did manage to run off and get himself lost, Sammy’s powerful nose would be able to track him down within just a few minutes. Hopefully, this sort of thing will never actually happen, but it’s reassuring for Matthew’s parents to know that Sammy is such a good tracker.

It’s truly amazing to see just how much Sammy does for his friend. He helps him out at all hours of the day, even lying with him at night and helping him drift off into a deep sleep.

The Peleschaks found Sammy via the ‘4 Paws for Ability’ organization and ran their own fundraiser in order to adopt him. They were actually able to raise more cash than they needed, so decided to give some to other families who also needed service dogs.

Courtesy of Matthew Peleschak

This story just shows how incredible dogs really are. It’s amazing that we can train an animal to do so much for us. Sammy has given Matthew and his family a whole new quality of life, and there are countless other service dogs just like him, working each and every day to keep people safe and happy.

If this story has made you smile, be sure to SHARE it around to raise awareness and support for service dogs like Sammy!