Kaleb and Ganan's story

Kaleb is a 15 year old young man living with Autism. His family felt they were running out of options to improve their son’s future. Then along came Ganan…

Kaleb’s family were the sole Puppy Educators of Ganan as a young pup. Kaleb’s mum Emma explains how her confused, frustrated son was previously self-harming; something that stopped very shortly after Ganan joined the household, allowing Kaleb to attend school for full days for the first time. His teachers reported that Kaleb’s attitude had completely changed at school while the family also joyfully observed the same transformation at home.

This was no coincidence — once Ganan left for Advanced training in Sydney, it was apparent just how huge an impact he had been having on Kaleb. Bereft of Ganan, the teen immediately went downhill, returned to self-harming and withdrew completely at school and home, due to his high levels of anxiety. And so began a terrible time for everyone: numerous days at school were missed, and there were frequent trips to the hospital with police escorts. Kaleb refused to leave the house and, as a last resort, the upsetting decision was made to sedate him full-time. This was obviously not something any parent wants to do, but the family were running out of options to keep him and others safe.

Fast forward to today and a much happier time! Who would have thought a dog could do so much for a whole family? A visibly more relaxed Emma says, “The most important thing for all of us, is Ganan’s ability to reduce Kaleb's overall anxiety. It’s as if he’s a different boy. Ganan is always by his side and they do everything together.”

Emma explains: “My daughter Bindi also has autism. Years of sleep therapists and psychologists couldn't get her to sleep in her own room because she was so terrified. But Ganan can! Since he has returned, she has been sleeping in her bed with her 'protector'.

“We are all so very much in love with him. We thank our lucky stars every day that we have him. Kaleb has even spoken in front of a few different groups of people about Ganan and is now applying for jobs. From a boy who wouldn't leave the house, and was in hospital every few days, to a happy young man who is going out into the world and living life!”

Each Assistance Dog costs over $35,000 to train

This includes everything from purchasing a puppy to food, vaccinations, training and placement. Assistance Dogs are provided free of charge to people in need.

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