Let Me Tell You About Two Best Friends...



Riley, an 11-year-old boy with cerebral palsy, and Libby, a three-year-old Golden Retriever, were matched as a team in August of 2008. At the time, Riley was in a wheelchair and only mildly interested in dogs. After many early morning walks and New TLCAD At Ease Service Dog Program numerous outings together, the bond between a boy and his dog began to build. Over the ensuing months, Libby would attend and become and integral part of Riley's physical and occupational therapy sessions. Libby would help Riley take off his t-shirts, she would assist Riley as he learned to walk up and down stairs, while hanging onto the railing with one hand and holding onto the strap on Libby's vest with the other hand, and she would crawl along the floor "racing" Riley as he pulled himself along New TLCAD At Ease Service Dog Program on his floor scooter. Only a few months had passed when Riley decided that he would no longer use a wheelchair, but would instead use his walker exclusively, with Libby walking proudly beside him. All of a sudden, a whole new world had opened up for New TLCAD At Ease Service Dog Program Riley: he had his new best friend with him no matter where he went - to the movies, to Legoland, to the toy store. So much of Riley's life is different now that he has Libby is in his world. He is stronger now that he walks everywhere in his walker, with Libby by his side. His speech has improved because he is learning to talk to Libby and give her commands. He is much more self-confident and wants to go to new New TLCAD At Ease Service Dog Program places and explore what's around the next corner. And...one of the things around the next corner for both Riley and Libby is adjusting to Libby's new harness that has a rigid hand-grip for Riley - these two are learning to walk together as a team...just the two of them...without a walker. Lisa, Riley's mom, recently said, "We are so amazed at how much Libby has added to Riley's life! We appreciate TLCAD and Libby's New TLCAD At Ease Service Dog Program Trainer, Jan, helping us through all of the adjustments we have made together as Riley has progressed." Let me tell you about two best friends...Riley & Libby...what a team!

Fara Khaleeli