Autistic boy receives new best friend thanks to donations - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Autistic boy receives new best friend thanks to donations

(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)
ASH FLAT, AR (KAIT) -

An Ash Flat family received a special delivery Wednesday morning in the form of a golden retriever.

It is not just a pet, it’s a service dog for a boy with autism.

Conor Daily got the dog named Morgan not just as a new playmate.

Morgan is a trained autism service dog. Conor was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder when he was just two.

“Initial interaction, engaging, communication, those are thing that are really hard to come by for them, and they have to be taught,” Conor’s mother Roxanne said. “They don’t come naturally to kids with autism.”

The Daily family began the push for a service dog in March 2016.

“On Easter Sunday of last year we had probably what was one of the worst days of our life,” Roxanne said. “He had escaped out of our house.”

One big scare for Conor’s family, he likes to run away. He thinks it is a game.

That day, he ran into the highway.

“ That was like a major wake-up call to us that we need more help,” Roxanne said.

The next day, she called Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers. It is a nonprofit out of Virginia that trains dogs to assist those with autism, diabetes, PTSD, and epilepsy.

“Our service dogs in training, we start training them at about seven weeks,” Cheri Campbell, training director said.

Campbell said having the dog by Conor’s side can give his parent’s some peace of mind knowing he can’t get far away.

“He’s got two-hand freedom and can walk and go as far as the tether will go. And then he’s stopped. Mom and dad can relax. It’s a whole much more relaxed atmosphere. It’s amazing to watch,” Campbell said.

As Morgan gets familiar with his new family and responsibilities, the Daily’s are reminded of the community who raised $25,000 to make this possible.

“It’s very touching to know that you’ve got, we are, there’s only about 1,000 people in Ash Flat, about 5,000 in Cherokee Village, there’s not that many people around here and to be able to raise $25,000 in less than a year for people you didn’t even grow up with," Roxanne said. "It’s very humbling and very touching to know there are good people out there."

Morgan’s trainer will continue to visit the Daily’s every three to four months over the next year and a half to continue training Morgan to meet Conor’s needs.

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