The wonderful thing about having a dog is that they’ll follow you everywhere and keep you safe; they’ll walk with you, ride with you, camp in the rain if that’s what it takes to spend time with you and protect you. But what if there’s somewhere they can’t go, somewhere they can’t keep an eye on you. Like inside your brain, keeping you safe from nightmares that keep you from sleeping?
Well, if your name is Lego, you might actually be able to do that, and that makes you the most invaluable best friend to a Winnipeg boy named Tupper.
Before Lego came along, things were rough for 3-year old Tupper and his family. Tupper has ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and that plays havoc with his mind and actions, but ever since Lego came into the picture, Tupper’s been a changed kid
Over the last 3 years, there’s been challenges, and one of them is nightmares. Once upon a time, Tupper was sleeping maybe 6-8 hours a night, but waking every 20-40 minutes, inconsolable with nightmares. Last December, Lego was assigned to train with Tupper and his family by MSAR Service Dogs in Manitoba, and by February he was a part of the family for one simple reason; he’s exactly what Tupper needed.
Any time that Tupper started to have a nightmare, Lego would crawl into bed and cuddle with him until he fell asleep. What was once a long night for everyone, is now a night of restful sleep for Tupper. Sometimes he’ll go 10 hours straight without a sound or waking up, as long as Lego is beside him.
Lego also helps outside the bedroom too, guiding Tupper out of the waking nightmare of uncontrollable actions such as banging his head against the wall, screaming, biting and scratching. All Lego needs to do is put his paw on Tupper, and he stops.
Tupper also doesn’t break away and run from his parents anymore either. There once was a great fear that he’d relentlessly run into traffic, but now Lego can help corral his impulses. If Tupper does break away, Lego can catch him and keep him contained until his parents arrive.
And while Lego is technically ‘working’ to keep Tupper distracted when disregulation sets in, the two of them have become inseparable. There’s nothing like the bond between a boy and his dog, especially when the two of them need each other.