Life for eight-year-old Celeste Douglas was becoming increasingly difficult. The issues associated with her Autism Spectrum Disorder caused overwhelming anxiety and she had become virtually housebound. Although Celeste was enrolled in special needs Distance Education class, she was unable to manage the schoolwork and struggled with self-esteem issues. A Smart Pup was initially needed to help reduce Celeste’s anxiety levels, and it was while fund raising that Celeste’s mum was advised by greyhound-lover Todd McKenney that the calming nature of the breed would be ideal for Celeste.
The bond between Celeste and Minnie, her gentle and placid greyhound Smart Pup, was instant. Minnie has made life so much easier for Celeste and she’s now able to go outside, attend events and be active in the community. Having Minnie by her side has given Celeste a huge confidence boost too which helps her achieve tasks as well as cope when she doesn’t, and provide continual companionship and support. The impact on the whole family has been immeasurable. Celeste’s mum, a single parent, can now go grocery shopping without fear and peace has been restored to the household.