Julian came to meet the Love Dogs and he met two new dogs. First he met Gamby, a very cute Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Gamby was wearing fluffy bows in his hair and they seemed to attract every child.
I always suggest this breed for families with young children as they are athletic, fun, sweet and loving and not too large.
At one point in the session Julian went over to Gamby and sat nearby and just watched him. He did this for quite a while. He enjoyed looking directly at him and laughed when Gamby looked right back at him. But he did not have much interest in interacting with Gamby or touching him. Just one very brief “sniff” and wave.
The second new dog we had with us this time was Bingo. Bingo is a cancer survivor and was making her first public appearance since having her front leg amputated. The children were very interested to hear her story and see how well a dog can walk and lay down and get up with three legs. Bingo got tired early on so she only stayed for half an hour but in that time she met everyone and smiled the whole time.Julian especially seemed drawn to Bingo and went right up to her to touch her tail!
He was fascinated by her missing leg and kept looking at the empty space on her red sweater.
Today was a quiet day for Julian. He didn’t speak as much as usual and had difficulty making eye contact. At one point he wanted to hold Benny so I asked him to look at me first. He did after a few seconds but his shoulders were still down and his posture folding in. So I asked him my name and he barely looked up when he said “Sue” but as I waited, his eyes slowly came up and he held his body up and he looked right into mine. “Sue” he said again.
That’s when I let him hold Benny. He had some trouble getting a good grip on the little dog but we did it together and then he enjoyed having him on his lap.
I do think Julian has a deep empathy for those dogs with special needs. He loved Bailey who has had two knee replacements and is quite slow and adores little Kirby who often sleeps his way through sessions and is very drawn to Benny who also has difficulty figuring things out and when he saw Bingo something connected.
Maybe Julian just knows inherently that they are like him … perfect in their own way.