Henry is Symon’s assistance dog.
These intelligent animals undergo two years of tailored training that can cost over $30,000. Dogs like Henry support people living with physical disabilities, autism, post-traumatic stress and dementia. The common thread is that these beautiful animals provide life-changing support for their owners.
Unfortunately over the years some spinal cord injuries can progress further, leaving the person inflicted with increasingly less feeling and movement. Symon has had Henry by his side for 4 months now, helping him with his everyday needs. If a set of keys is dropped on the ground or a mobile phone is out of reach, Henry can pick them up and give them back to Symon.
Henry is also trained with alert barking in case Symon has a fall, but more importantly he is fantastic emotional support.
Founded in 1996, Assistance Dogs Australia is a national charity which trains Labradors and Golden Retrievers to help people with disabilities, providing them with greater freedom and independence. Assistance Dogs are placed free of charge with their new owner, and like PBF Australia they receive no government funding. Assistance Dogs Australia rely solely on the generosity of individuals and organsiations. There are over 100 people on their waiting list, with an estimated two years waiting time for a dog.
If you would like to know more about Assistance Dogs you can find out here at www.assistancedogs.org.au.