Yesterday at the library, two people recognized her and approached us to say hello. One knew Dancer from the dog park (a favorite outing for my son and husband) and the other from seeing her walk into Zander’s school each morning with me.
Being this approachable is actually one of her most important jobs as a service dog to a person with autism.
With a beautiful coat and a sweet disposition, she is a people magnet. She likes the attention, and so do we. She paves the way for social interaction for Zander, which is no easy feat.
While most of the time, we feel welcome in public, we have had our moments when the welcome mat retreated. Most of these memories came after Zander had a meltdown, a sensory overload. We have felt the stares and heard the whispers — in airports and stores, parks and parking lots.
So it’s a real service to have Dancer put out the welcome mat for us wherever we go. (She also helps keep Zander calm, which is huge as well.)
This morning, a man leaned out his car window after we dropped off Zander at school. “Good morning, Dancer,” he yelled as he prepared to drop off is kids. I puffed up in pride and lightened my steps.
It was a good morning.