Michael and Lilly
Michael is an active young boy involved in swimming and horseback riding. He is also living with autism.
Music and occupational therapy improve the effects of his diagnosis, but his family searched for a deeper connection that would forever impact his life.
Michael's parents understood the power a therapy dog would have on their son, "We believe that a therapy dog helps our son by giving him responsibility and therapy by improving Michael's capacity for self-care."
Lilly, a black Labrador retriever, engages in all of Michael's activities, making him feel comfortable and supported no matter what the environment.
Lilly takes actions that once caused Michael stress and anxiety and turns them into positive experiences. She is by his side when it is time for bed to combat nightmares and walks Michael to the bus stop each morning to start the day off right. When they aren’t playing a game of tug of war, you can find Lilly perfectly propped at Michael’s feet. The two have created a unique bond since being placed in fall of 2017.
Michael's parents say, "More than anything, we have noticed that Michael has a special love for dogs and his behavior improves with a dog around."
Michael and Lilly were particularly funded by the following grants:
- France Stone Foundation
- Lott Conlon
Lilly was obtained from Leader Dogs and fostered by Suzette Biela.