June 16, 2020
As if we need more proof that dogs are heavenly, meet Beauty, the rescue dog who now helps her autistic owner deal with anxiety – despite never having had any training. Beauty’s owner Cheryl, who has autism spectrum condition and struggles with high levels of anxiety, says Beauty is able to pick up on her feelings and emotions, and has been a constant source of affection and comfort during lockdown. “Beauty is more than just a dog to me; she is my best friend,” says Cheryl, who adopted five-year-old Beauty from the RSPCA’s Chesterfield & North Derbyshire branch. “Even though Beauty has received no formal assistance dog training, this is the role she plays in my life and she plays it superbly. She is a very sensitive dog who is able to pick up on how I am feeling with no encouragement.
“If I’m particularly upset she will immediately sit, and raise her paw. If I sit down with her, she will give me a hug, often by placing one or two paws on my shoulder and resting her head on me. Having Beauty around also gives me a good sense of personal security. She will bark and alert me if there is anyone outside or around.”
As well as routine and structure during lockdown, Beauty has offered Cheryl companionship, support and affection. “She provides me with judgement-free companionship as I lack the ability to form many kinds of social relationships with other people,” Cheryl said. “She loves people, always wagging her tail and eager to greet people. Everyone we meet loves her!”