Romeo — Therapy

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Words and smiles do not come easy to many students with Autism. But just come in when Romeo my therapy dog arrives. The transformation is amazing! Romeo visits a self-contained class for students with mental disabilities and Autism. Romeo seems to be able to sense which students need his attention. He patiently goes to the students who need him the most. He sits in front of the student and waits for a response, then is quick to give a lick or lay his head on their lap. It sounds like a small gesture, but it has meant the world to all of us who work so hard to reach these students. The parents of the students have related that on Tuesdays, their moods change. Romeo is the one thing they can relate to in a world that basically does not speak their language. Romeo accepts the child for who he is and what he is. I wish the world could understand these students like Romeo does. Romeo considers this his job and the teachers consider Romeo their blessing. They thank us for opening the door and letting them see smiles they never thought they would see.

Romeo visits children’s hospitals and numerous nursing and assisted living homes, as well as hospice centers, universities, military bases and veterans centers. He has been awarded the AKC ACE Award (award for community excellence) and has earned his CGC award. Romeo is also my therapy dog, as I lost my immediate family tragically. His work has become our calling and we often work up to six days a week.