Malone is my son’s best friend. Theo has Autism and at age 10 was suicidal and self-harmed. We heard about a dog that helps with regulating children with autism and was sceptical at first. But within 10 minutes of meeting autism dogs, we knew we need a friend for Theo. Within 2 months of training with Malone (yes just training, he hadn’t moved in yet) Theo had stopped self-harming. Within another month of training, he had been removed from suicide watch. Honestly, this was a dream come true.
Then, in January 2020, Malone joined us and within a month the meltdowns had eased and he no longer was violent in them. This is because Malone senses when Theo needs sensory deep pressure, before he does, and will lie down on him. He will play tug of war and wrestle. If he does have a meltdown he will lick Theo, throw balls at him to try to distract him. He will not leave his side. And when Theo comes out of the meltdown, he will comfort him (he won’t let us touch him). He will play mouth lick, play with a tennis ball till on him and be that unconditional love, that nonjudgemental friend. He runs with him outside.
Malone is our life-saver. He didn’t just become Theo’s friend, he saved him! The picture I sent says it all. True best friends, unconditionally. No judgments, just pure love. Theo is too young for Facebook and Instagram but I am sure he will be showcasing their friendship when he is allowed.