For Ruth Gregory, having a dog can make a world of difference.
Ruth’s life as an adult with autism was a constant struggle. She always had difficulties sleeping. Ruth could not communicate well with other people, even her own family. She couldn’t even leave the house without her mom.
She found herself praying for a friend to make her struggles bearable. Her prayers were answered in the form of an assistance dog. Most service dogs were for children with autism. At 21, she was the oldest person to have one.
When she met Ryder, they had an instant connection. Ruth felt that it was Ryder who picked her to be his friend.
As soon as they were together, things started to change in Ruth’s life. Ryder would provide deep pressure therapy by lying on top of her when she could not sleep peacefully. She experienced a calmness that she never felt before.
There were more significant changes. Ruth started talking to other people. She was able to do things without relying on her mom all the time. With Ryder, she could shop without her mother.
Ruth got her own flat and lived independently since then. Before Ryder, she didn’t think this was possible at all.
Ryder was always there for her when he needed him the most. He sensed when Ruth was about to have a complete meltdown. Ryder would nudge and lean into her to help calm her down. When Ruth was in a crowded place, he would guide Ruth through. Ryder would remind Ruth to take her medications for her chronic pain when she forgot to take them.
When Ruth hit her head really hard, Ryder saved her life. She was lying on the floor and couldn’t get up.
Ryder knew what to do. He took the phone and brought it to her. He didn’t leave her side while she called for help.
Like a regular dog, Ryder had boundless energy. He needed an outlet for it, so Ruth channeled that energy into teaching him new skills. For Ryder, it was just a game. He was like a toddler who saw everything in the world as new.
Ruth then began training other dogs to become service dogs like Ryder. Ryder helped in their training, too. When other people with autism saw how amazing Ryder was, they ended up getting assistance dogs of their own.
They had a perfect friendship. Not only did Ryder change Ruth’s life, but he also made her feel genuinely happy.
Source: The Dodo via YouTube