Oliver is a fun-loving boy who has Down syndrome, Tetralogy of Fallot and Congenital Hypothyroid Disease. At his young age, he has already been through two open-heart surgeries, and goes to numerous doctors visits on a regular basis. Oliver has difficulty communicating his needs and feelings, which can lead to increased frustration, and occasional aggressive outbursts. He has a hard time in loud, crowded places, and shuts down, often laying on the ground and screaming.
Oliver has always had a love for dogs. After seeing how he responded with two paws4people dogs at the special Olympics, his family decided it was time to apply for an assistance dog.
In December of 2019, Oliver and his family traveled to West Virginia where they met DALE, a happy-go-lucky Golden Retriever. Instantly, the Minor family felt a connection with DALE. He has helped Oliver by anchoring to his anxieties, cuddling to help provide sensory relief, and interrupting negative behaviors. DALE helps Oliver in the home with daily tasks, at doctor visits, and around the community mitigating his frustrations and redirecting him when he’s getting anxious.
DALE has had such a positive impact with Oliver and his family!