Caitlin UltimoPet Parenting / Pet Stories

Service Dog Chases Nightmares Away From Little Boy With Autism

A 3-year-old boy with autism is getting a better night’s sleep thanks to the help of his service dog. Tupper Dunlop of Winnipeg, Canada, used to have terrible nightmares that would wake him up at night. He would cry and thrash in his sleep, only getting about 45 minutes of shut-eye at a time. The lack of sleep only caused more problems. His parents didn’t know what to do, until a friend with a dog came over for a visit.

“Tupper engaged with him, playing fetch and chase, and was very happy and excited, laughing and squealing,” Tupper’s mom, Nancy Dunlop, told CBS News. “This reinforced the fact that an animal might be a good support for Tupper and might encourage him to engage with others.”

Enter Lego. The yellow Labrador Retriever is an autism therapy dog. Lego helps calm Tupper by cuddling with him and by applying pressure with his body. Because of Lego, Tupper is finally able to sleep through the night.
He’s also been much calmer while he’s awake.

“Lego has a great calming effect on Tupper and provides a companionship for when he needs to regulate himself,” Nancy told CBS. “He’s being trained to help corral Tupper when he bolts. And he will engage Tupper by bumping into him or bringing him a toy to initiate play when Tupper is upset or overwhelmed.”

Job well done, Lego. See more of Tupper and Lego on Facebook.


By: Stephanie Brown

Feature Image: Via Adventures of Tupper and Lego/Facebook

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