Kai’s mom had no idea that the long wait for a service dog and the difficult journey to Ohio with her autistic son would end in tears—tears of joy. At 5 years old, Kai is starting to notice his lack of friends outside his family, and feel the pain of rejection in school and at the playground. His new dog is about to change all that.
“This picture captures the face of a mother who saw her child, who she can’t hug, wash, dress, snuggle and touch freely lay on his new Service dog of his own free will, with a purposeful unspoken attachment.” – 4 Paws for Ability
After his arduous trek, and a long and overstimulating day, Kai casually leaned against his new service dog Tornado as if it were the simplest thing in the world. A friendship for life has been made. A connection made in an afternoon, after years of effort.
The spectacular moment Kai relaxes with his new friend
You can read the full story from Kai’s grateful mom by clicking the link above. You might want to bring a Kleenex.
Kai and Tornado first meeting
4 Paws for Ability has been training service dogs since 1998. 4 Paws was the first agency to offer dogs trained specifically to work with autistic children. Founder Karen Shirk had years of experience working with autistic children before starting 4 paws, and saw a need she knew her dogs could fill.
Today, 4 Paws for Ability trains 100 dogs a year to help primarily children with a variety of needs live a more fulfilling life.