I'm a dog person. My husband is not. I don't know about our son. For a long time, I've wondered if the simpler social rules of interacting with a dog would be a value for him. I loved having a dog that I could cry on when I was being a goofy teenager. Dogs will always love you and lick your tears and they love to be petted. My son is also very sensory seeking so I thought that a dog could be something that would really help him as he matures and deals with the challenges of Autism.
Throughout high school, I raised guide dog puppies using this program. So, that's what we're doing now to test if having a dog is a good idea for our family. We got Tracker when he was seven months old and he's now nine months old. So far, it's been a bumpy road. My son tends to get a higher voice when he doesn't like something and that makes Tracker think that it's play time (and then my son will get angry as rough housing increases instead of stopping). My son also tends to do more prodding and not really petting; he's learning. Tracker is also learning that licking will not get him a play buddy because my son hates it. But, they're figuring out how to interact with each other and... we'll see how it works out. Tracker will return to the guide dog school for formal training when he's 13-15 months old. For now, I'll keep trying to help my son enjoy him and help Tracker learn all the skills he'll need as a guide dog. The verdict is still out, but I do get some cute pictures when they click and enjoy each other!
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