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Miracle Mutts Blog

January 25, 2022

Valley Achievement Center for Kids With Autism

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Written by: Aileen Barker

Once again, Hooch and Fred The Service Pup delighted the kids, teachers and staff at Valley Achievement Center for children with autism. As usual, these dogs blew all of our minds with their calmness and loving patience toward the kids. When called to this type of action, Hooch immediately sprawls out on the floor, closes his eyes, and relishes in the weight of kids’ heads on his back as they lay next to him and nestle in. He basks in the feeling of their fingers combing through his fur. He soaks up the love inherent to the immediate and unspoken bond between him and them…a feeling Hooch likely never knew before his life with Marley’s Mutts. In the meantime, Fred lays in a spot on the floor nearby, giving gentle kisses to the kids who want them. The kids play with his tail, they stroke his back, they hold his paws in their hands. And Fred — with that soulful, sweet look in his eyes — feels pride and fulfillment in doing the work he was born to do. Whether they understand it on an intellectual level or not, these dogs have purpose. And they know just where and in what ways they are needed. They give us pause, (and paws - sorry, couldn’t help that one); they make us proud. They remind us to set aside our own self-focus just long enough to make someone else’s day extra special. -Liz


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