Ten year-old Lachlan Bailey was given a Smart Pup to help him cope with many facets of life that he found overwhelming, particularly his anxiety. Rory, his Smart Pup, was trained for 14 months to specifically address the needs of Lachlan who has autism, Down syndrome and sensory processing disorder. Rory is a gentle and quiet dog and, within weeks, was a valued member of the family and a best friend for Lachlan.
Rory was trained to track Lachlan when he wanders off or runs away and to provide lap pressure and to ‘nuggle’ him when he needs comfort or support. The friendship and support Lachlan has received from Rory has had a huge impact on his life. He now goes to school happily, without meltdowns, and no longer wears his ‘invisible mask’ (that he used to wear so he couldn’t see people) or headphones (to block out noises).
Rory has become a much-loved member of Lachlan’s family. His calm and obedient nature combined with his sense of fun and affection help Lachlan feel more at ease and less intimidated by the world around him. Lachlan is great at hiding but doesn’t respond when called and so Rory’s special tracking skills have proved a great benefit, both at school and when out with family. The adorable duo’s strong bond and loving friendship have been life changing and now Rory rarely has meltdowns and is a happier and more social little boy with a best friend for life.