~ Aryanna and Neville ~
Neville found his forever human, Aryanna at only 6 weeks old. Since then, the two have become the best of friends and care immensely for each other.
Aryanna struggles with different health conditions that can cause daily challenges. Because of this, it was decided that a service dog would be beneficial to help her in her day-to-day life. She met with a dog, unfortunately, a few weeks later, the dog couldn’t fulfil the role of a service dog.
It was then, she met Neville, a German Shepherd x Australian cattle dog. He was born from a litter of one of Aryanna’s friends. Her friend offered Neville to her as both a pet and to be a service dog. Soon, Neville was welcomed into the home of Aryanna.
Initially, having a puppy was an adjustment for Aryanna. Neville was an excitable and active puppy and needed a lot of patience and attention. It was a challenge, but once Aryanna and Neville began to understand each other, they flourished as a team.
Having Neville has helped immensely. Aryanna has a few health challenges, and with her friend by her side, she can have more independence. When her blood sugar is dropping, Neville alerts her and helps her to a safe place to prevent her from fainting and getting sick.
Not only this, but Aryanna also struggles with anxiety. Neville can also alert her to an oncoming panic attack. If this happens, he helps her by doing deep pressure therapy (DPT). This involves Neville stretching out across Aryanna’s lap and hitting pressure points to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. This prompts her body to be guided out of a panic attacker quicker. During this, Neville will stay by Aryanna for as long as she needs him to. Alongside her anxiety, Aryanna may dissociate. If this happens, Neville knows how to help her and will guide her to her car for safety.
One specific event was at a bowling alley. This is a place that causes great anxiety for Aryanna, but she went as part of a group. Once there, she felt her anxiety bubbling up but felt a little bit better knowing Neville was right there beside her. Soon, she became overwhelmed by the bowling alley, and Neville immediately began performing DPT.
Afterwards, Aryanna realised that, with Neville, she could enjoy going out and having some independence. Before Neville, she would simply avoid places that could lead to anxiety, but now, she feels more confident to do this. That specific day made Aryanna realise how much of a positive impact Neville has on her life.
Something the two enjoy doing is training. Neville loves to learn new tricks and ways to help his human companion. This is sometimes done at home and with toys, but they also enjoy going out and about to test new commands. For Aryanna, training isn’t just teaching Neville new things, but a way to bond and communicate with him. It brings an immense amount of joy to them both. Seeing that they can achieve anything together always brings a smile to Aryanna’s face.
With Neville in her life, Aryanna has gotten her independence back. She can now feel safe to go out and do things she couldn’t before, such as grocery shopping. She no longer worries about what might happen because she knows Neville is right there for her. Neville evidently cares a lot for Aryanna, and she cares just as much for him. He brings her happiness, independence and a companion. The bond they share is truly amazing and the love between them is so strong.