Mully, with me!
HOW A DOG MAKES THE TRANSITION FROM BOY TO MAN POSSIBLE
"Mully, with me!" Twelve year old, Wesley Metcalfe, has just come home from school and is now taking his new best friend, Mully – aka, The Mullet, The Mull, Muldoon – swimming. Mully is a mid-size yellow lab and his new owner, Wesley, has high functioning autism. They have been waiting a long time for one another. Mully has gone through two years of training with Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs, Inc., a San Diego non-profit organization whose mission is to provide custom trained dogs to individuals whose lives might be bettered through the use of an assistance dog. And Wesley, whose main challenges are social, now has a friend who adores him for who he is. Mully already is a conduit for meeting other people and is someone to turn to when he needs company or someone to hug. Wesley feeds Mully, brushes him and puts him on the bed next to him at night. He and his Mom take Mully on errands and take him walking and ball throwing. Recently they all went and saw The Grinch at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre together. In return, Mully will eventually take Wesley to school, to movies and into stores and, with a little prompting, will help tip waitresses and put the ATM card Wesley doesn't yet have, into the cash machine. But most important, Mully will help Wesley transition from a young man with special needs into a confident, self reliant adult. But right now they're just best friends going swimming together. "Mully, with me!" But most important, Mully will help Wesley transition from a young man with special needs into a confident, self reliant adult.” - Stephen Metcalfe, Wesley's Father, Dec. 2009
WESLEY AND MULLY TODAY
Wesley's journey toward independence began when he was 12 years old and received his Service Dog, Mully. "Theirs is a relationship like no other." Says Wesley's mother, "As Wesley has matured, Mully has matured. In his ability to detect and adapt his skill set to meet Wesley's changing needs. Mully is always at the ready to serve. The two of them define synchronicity." With the support of Mully and his school, the Arch Academy, Wesley has been able to make friends and explore new places, including those all over the world. This year his swimming team, The Zombies, will swim the English Channel. "It was decisively and conclusively Mully that got Wesley to this place." Says Wesley's mother, "The promise was there in Wesley. It was Mully who drew it out."