Pawsitive Squad CIC
Paws of Hope, Paws of Love,
Paws of Life
Loren, aged 23, and her adorable English springer spaniel, Ralph joined our assistance dog program during the first COVID-19 lockdown. They have already passed their bronze award and are well on the way to completing their silver award.
Life was more of a struggle for Loren before she got Ralph. “I would have very low days where I’d avoid going out” says Loren, who is diagnosed with Autism, generalised anxiety & depression. “I’ve found it hard to find work where I can manage socially and overload wise. I find it hard to manage in crowds and new places and don’t like change.”
Since joining the Pawsitive Squad assistance dog program, Ralph has helped to make Loren’s life better thanks to the tasks he’s been trained to do which help decrease the impact of her autism & mental health difficulties. “When I am very stress or anxious, Ralph helps me with various types of deep pressure therapy which he can now do without me even asking, he just picks up on my anxiety cues. He also interrupts me by nudging me.” Next on our list of tasks to train Ralph to do is to find the door or exit in public spaces, which we introduced to his training recently.
Alongside the tasks Ralph does to assist Loren, his presence provides huge emotional support and comfort to Loren, especially on hard days. “He’s very comforting. He doesn’t like to leave my side when I’m feeling low and he gives me kisses and cuddles.”
“Now I have Ralph I feel I have a purpose and a routine; He keeps me active”.
With Ralph by her side, Loren has now set up her very own dog treat virtual shop which she has called ‘Ralph’s kitchen box’ after her amazing four-legged friend. (https://ralphkitchenbox.co.uk/ , https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/RalphsKitchenBox).
Having completed her degree at the University of Chester, Loren is now also looking for work where Ralph can support her to meet her full potential.
Since joining Pawsitive Squad, Loren says “I have enjoyed meeting new people with additional needs on the training program and I’ve been made welcome from the staff. At Pawsitive Squad I don’t feel judged, it feels like a big family. To anyone considering joining the assistance dog program I’d say Go for it! You will have no regrets, it’s a very rewarding journey”.