Alex & Tanaka

Posted by & filed under Autism, Service Dog Stories.

Alex and Tanaka are doing fantastic.  The bond took a while but they are now inseparable.  We no longer tether them.  Alex holds his leash and never lets go because he thinks Tanaka would run away.  Alex’s speech has skyrocketed.  He had to learn to talk clearly to give commands and that was a huge motivator.  Alex was discharged from speech therapy a couple of weeks ago (he was in it since he was 10 months old).  We never had to track for real but we still practice and Tanaka even found him in an amusement park!  Everywhere we go, everybody loves Tanaka, nobody has ever refused us access anywhere.  Tanaka listens to command perfectly, I don’t even carry treats anymore.  We just do a “refresher” training course once in a while with treats.  We no longer use the training collar.  We use the gentle leader only.  When he is not wearing the gentle leader, he pulls while we walk.  We haven’t had a meltdown in 8 weeks and Alex sleeps through the night (which he never did), with Tanaka on his legs.