A Little Story about One Small Dog and her Young Autistic human – written by eight year old Cadence, about her special friend, ‘Ruby Red’.
“Ruby Red is my dog. She is a good dog. I don’t know if she knows, but she helps me be brave and strong, when I feel scardy cat. She went to kindy with me, and school and to the shops and parade marches. She is very patient and never gets angry when other kids pulled her ears or tail. She slides down slippery dips with me and goes on the spinning rotunda at the park with me. I don’t know any other dogs that go down slippery dips! She has even been on a Ferris Wheel! She runs alongside me when I am scootering. She sniffs me out when I am hiding and snuggles me when I am sad, even when I get grumpy and push her away.
But then Ruby Red started getting poorly and doing funny things. She rubbed her head against things, and sometimes walked in circles. She didn’t like being patted or touched on the head. She would keep moving from different spot to different spot and only sleep when her head was up on a pillow. She scratched all the time, but she didn’t have fleas. And she opened and closed her mouth a lot. Sometimes she would get wobbly and trip over.
The vet said she had Syringomyelia. It’s a big word that means a disease in her brain and causes lots of pain. The vet put her on medicine to stop the pain.
Then about a month ago, she started getting more poorly. She didn’t want to go down slippery dips with me and even stopped getting up on the bed to sleep with me. She cried and yelped too.
The Vet put her on new medicine. I give her the morning tablet and her night-time tablet. She is more happy again now. She has started jumping up on the bed to sleep with me again and wanting to play ball with me again. It has made her eyes more poorly. She doesn’t see very well but she has a super good nose and follows her nose everywhere! If she falls over, I pick her up and give her a cuddle.
The vet doesn’t know how long the new medicine will work for. It might be for just a little time or a bit longer time. When the new medicine stops working, there is no more medicine that will stop Ruby Red’s ouches. The vet will need to give her a special medicine to stop the pain, but that medicine is so super, super strong it will stop her heart from working and she will die.
We take Ruby Red to the vet every two weeks now. Ruby Red likes to sniff all the waiting area for other animals. I put her on the vet table for her check-up and cuddle her before she has her blood tests. I help her be brave and strong because she helps me be brave and strong”.