Hamish and Boots


Six-year old Hamish McMurtry is on the autism spectrum, largely non-verbal and suffers from sleep issues. Struggles with sensory processing and feeling overwhelmed in social situations caused him to freeze over, wander off or escape, which was the most important need for Hamish’s Smart Pup. A calm Golden Retriever with low energy levels, Boots was a perfect match for Hamish and placed with the family after seven months of task-specific training including behavioural disruption, tracking and tethering.

A loving and intuitive dog, Boots provides comfort and calm, and acts as an anchor reducing repetitive behaviours and alerts the family if Hamish wanders off. Remarkably, with only a few days of placement, Hamish’s ability to communicate improved and he started putting short sentences together.

Boots provides a feeling of safety and security to the McMurty family. They no longer live in fear that Hamish will wander off or escape. Boots helps by disrupting and preventing meltdowns and freezes on a daily basis and is a constant support for Hamish. Peace of mind that Hamish is being looked after by his loyal Smart Pup, and the loving relationship they share, has made the whole family happy and proud.

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