Autism Assistance Dog is a Ray of Hope for a Kelowna Family
Dogs have various helpful occupations that help humans mentally, physically, and emotionally. Canines can assist well when given proper training, proving that they are man’s best friend. People, especially children with autism, can now acquire dogs to guide and accompany them every day.
John and Geraldine Francoeur decided to introduce their son to an autism assistance dog. It was the best choice for their Aadyn — and the family was grateful for Stewart.
Stewart was a trained assistance dog from Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides. The Francouers picked up Stewart in Vancouver on July 17, 2021. With Stewart’s presence, Aadyn could endure his struggles with autism and epilepsy, and he was a breath of fresh air in Aadyn’s life.
“Every time I get stressed, he always goes right on me and just puts a smile on my face immediately after that, and I don’t feel stressed anymore after that,” Aadyn shared with Global News. For nine months, the two have been inseparable, and Stewart built a strong bond with the whole family.
“Dog Guides has made a huge difference in our everyday life with Aadyn as far as helping him go outside and go into the community and enjoy it,” said Geraldine Francoeur. Stewart was able to help Aadyn enjoy his life again.
Aadyn’s sadness wasn’t just about his medical conditions — he lost his first dog assistant, which made him go back to isolation. His previous autism assistance dog was named York, a black Labrador. York was Aadyn’s companion for nine years — the dog’s death was one of the most challenging moments for the Francouer family. The black Labrador was diagnosed with cancer and died about a year and a half ago.
“It was a tough year and a half for many reasons,” John Francoeur shared. “He just shrunk back into his old ways again.”
After having Stewart, Aadyn was able to get out again — attending college classes became easier for him. Stewart brings out the best in Aadyn, and he’s doing a great job in keeping him company. Just the simple presence of a dog by your side is already a comfort to be thankful for. They are the most adorable companions who will love you unconditionally — and who deserve genuine love and care from humans.
Stewart’s existence is a life-changer for Aadyn and his parents. If you are on the same page as the Francoeur family, you can learn more about assistance dogs on the Walk for Dog Guides website.