Riley & Jingle

Posted by & filed under Autism, Service Dog Stories.

May 22, 2010 We were in the October 2009 class, my daughter Riley is paired with Jingle, an autism service dog. Riley is almost ten and has Asperger’s and severe anxiety. Riley ran away yesterday, during a clay sculpture class. She ran screaming down a long narrow hallway that led to several places. I followed with Jingle on the leash, but we weren’t quick enough. Riley took a corner and disappeared.

We didn’t know if she had gone upstairs to the public library? Outside(not the best neighborhood)? To the bathroom, or if she was hiding somewhere in the studio (which is in an old winding basement with lots of nooks and crannies and offices. Jingle went to a side room. I poked my head in and looked around but she wasn’t in there, so I took Jingle with me to look all over for her, the teacher and I spread out.

Turns out she was hiding in the room Jingle led me to, but I had her on the leash and didn’t let her go all the way in and get her. Jingle isn’t a tracking dog. We aren’t trained in this, and I was upset and in a hurry to find her in case she’d run outside so I hadn’t trusted Jingle, and had actually led her away from Riley.

We love our Jing. She is a great dog. She actually cries when she loses site of Riley, for example if we are in a public place, and Riley leaves to use the rest room. I should have known she was right…Michelle O’Neil