Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Day Late and a Dollar Short

You can find the master post, with all participating authors, bloggers and readers here

Many people with autism have key interests that can be utilized by employers in the workplace. (i.e. just because you have a disability doesn’t mean you don’t have abilities)


Once a year I dust off this blog to take part in RJ Scott's Annual Autism Awareness Blog Hop. Animals is this year's theme and, given the benefits that pets can have in helping people with autism, it seems pretty perfect to me.  Animals can help us in so many ways. This little fellow, Andi, has changed my life since he arrived three weeks ago. He didn't have the best start in life, having been a Romanian street dog, before he ended up in a shelter where he was bullied mercilessly by bigger dogs. 

I'm still coming to terms with losing my husband to cancer nearly two years ago. It's been a bumpy road and I had fallen into a habit of not wanting to leave the house, not having the energy to do anything except what I needed to do. I'd thought about adopting a rescue dog the summer Peter died and I'd gone as far as arranging a home visit with a rescue organisation...then I broke my shoulder and that went to the wall. Then, a few weeks ago, I was thinking out loud on Facebook about adopting a dog. A friend posted a link to this amazing rescue organisation and that, gentle reader, was that.

The first dog, alas, did not work out. He didn't like men and that dislike extended to my son. So, sadly, he had to go back and he's now in a home with people who have far more experience of looking after dogs with a 'history' than I have. Sarah from Leash of Life persuaded me to give Andi a try. His arrival was not the best. I was tired and stressed after getting lost and taking ages to get home. Andi was tired and stressed when confronted with our two cats. So stressed that he peed right there and then in the living room. Happily, he settled in. We fell in love and now neither my son or me can imagine life without him. Apart from the obvious benefit of giving and receiving unconditional love, the thrice daily walks have resulted in me losing weight and just feeling...better. I feel as if I have a purpose outside my job and my (sporadic) writing. I have this little, loveable creature waiting for me every morning when I wake up. I have this little, loveable creature demanding lap time and cuddles.  

Animals have so much to give us. They enrich our lives. They make us better, whether it's by giving an autistic child a connection with another living being, or just being that unquestioning friend we all need at one time or another.

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and I hope you'll read  all the offerings in this year's blog hop. I believe I may have told RJ I'd do a giveaway. 

So, my question is this: Have you/do you have a much-loved pet who has made your life better in some way? Leave your answer below. I'll run the magic random number generator at the end of the month and the winner gets a choice from my backlist, which you'll find here or, provided I remember, an e-copy of my new book An Unexpected Truth, when it's released in June/July. 

Once again, thanks for stopping by. :)


  1. Thank you for participating in RJ Autism Awareness Blog Hop. My son who has autism always was terrified by animals. That combined with my allergies we didn't have a pet. Instead we adopted a puppy from afar that is trained as a service dog.

  2. Thanks for sharing your story. Andi is adorable. It's wonderful that you found each other. I've had a pet most of my life. The one that I had the strongest connection with was a cat we adopted a few years after I got married. He helped me through years of trying to become a parent. Sadly he died of cancer soon after we adopted our daughter.

  3. Wonderful post! It's magical the joy and love our pets bring into our lives and the sense they have for when we, or people visiting, need special care. I can't imagine my life without my Sparky, and that's worrying since she's getting on in years <3

  4. Thanks for taking part again, and great to see Andi and how he is helping you in so many ways.
    I havent had a pet that has helped me per se, but I do enjoy sitting down with a cat on my lap - hours and problems can just fritter away when you can do nothing but sit and stroke the animal!

  5. Thank you for the post. I have both a cat and a dog which I took home from the animal shelter where I volunteer... I love them both to bits, they have taught me so many things. It is an experience I would recommend to all!

  6. Thanks to all of you for taking the trouble to read my ramblings and to leave a comment.
    The handy dandy random number generator picked Jen as the winner. :)
    Jen, I've sent you an email.

    Lots of love from me, Andi, Tigs and Bluey.