Hi! My name is Michelle and my cockapoo is Snoopy.
When the child had become ill, the parents had a difficult time monitoring his breathing patterns. Then they looked at Snoopy, who had never left the child’s side and who had been watching him while he napped. It was discovered that by watching Snoopy, they could better monitor the child’s breathing, since Snoopy was IMITATING and mimicking the child’s breathing patterns as they changed.Snoopy was originally adopted from a breeder by a co-worker and friend of mine as a puppy for her 5-year-old son. After only a month, the child became violent with Snoopy, punching, kicking, and throwing him across the room. At this point, his mother had called me to rescue Snoopy, to save his life. I expected him to become fearful of children, but I was very wrong.
In February of 2012, we moved to Arizona, where we met a family that had been through a lot. The mother had been beaten repeatedly by her ex-husband, and her 6-year-old son had been repeatedly, viciously sexually abused. The mother had many health issues and both had since been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
In spite of many other children in our apartment complex, Snoopy quickly bonded with the 6-year-old, a child who had difficulty bonding with anyone. Snoopy seemed to know that this special child needed a friend, and they were kindred souls, each a survivor of abuse.
Snoopy was registered as an Emotional Support Animal, a type of therapy animal who provides love, companionship, and comfort to those with emotional disabilities. Because of his time spent with Snoopy, the boy’s grades improved in school, and he had fewer outbursts, and seemed happier and more well adjusted. Snoopy was officially added to his treatment plan.
When the child started first grade in a new school, Snoopy escorted him to class, meeting his classmates and teacher to help him transition. I explained to the class about Snoopy’s role in the child’s life, as a best friend and comfort dog when his is upset, angry, sad, or scared. The children loved him and yelled, “BYE SNOOPY!” when we left. The child, who is usually shy, made many new friends that day.
Snoopy quickly became a therapy dog for the mother, who requested him in the hospital, as she awaited surgery and a biopsy for possible cancer. The mother has since added Snoopy to her treatment plan as well.
Snoopy is currently being trained in commands in three languages (English, German, and Japanese), by a Captain in the United States Marine Corps as a Search-And-Rescue dog.
I am very proud of Snoopy, who turned his own early life of abuse into something positive to help others! He is a true inspiration!