"Poppy" Eases Anxieties, Offers Positive Focus

HOW ONE TENDER LOVING CANINE TRANSFORMS HER BOY'S FAMILY

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While mulling over how best to describe what Poppy has done for our son, I realized Poppy's presence has brought bright new hope and peace to our entire family.

Our Scott was a healthy 5½ year old boy who suddenly regressed into extreme anxiety and depression that worsened to the point that Scott became suicidal. The doctors' diagnoses were Asperger's and Clinical Depression, terms which only begin to describe the difficulties we endured each day. The slightest transitions would seem insurmountable to Scott, and it was common for him to fall apart each day -- and when I say "fall apart," I mean Scott would escalate into sobbing hysteria, try to bolt away and then punish himself with self-denigrating thoughts for hours. Often I would have to carry my 65 lb. child, kicking and screaming from parks and school. And, of course, our other children were left to themselves as I focused on getting Scott through each episode.

Scott worried over EVERYTHING. He desperately wanted to join in with kids at parks but didn't know how to engage, often watching from the perimeter as others played. And each day brought new anxieties; just before meeting Poppy, Scott told me he no longer wanted to go for walks because he was scared of the sound of cars approaching from behind.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE POPPY HAS MADE!

The first time they walked together, Scott told me Poppy was nervous about cars, too. Getting Scott to school had meant a daily struggle but with Poppy, not only did Scott look forward to going, but he was able to comfortably engage with children who wanted to meet Poppy. We recently visited the Wild Animal Park, and when we left, (which would have meant a "meltdown" pre-Poppy,) I just reminded Scott to hold onto Poppy and he calmly walked her the entire way to the car!

Scott still has bad days, but when he begins to feel upset, he turns to Poppy, who quickly eases Scotts worries. Poppy "squishes" Scott, lying on him in a technique he learned from TLCAD to calm his fears, and Scott's tension eases quickly. Poppy is a truly amazing Tender Loving Canine who has changed all of our lives for the better.

- Sincerely, Michelle V., Scott's Mother, March 2011

Fara Khaleeli