Amanda Granados always worried about her son Joey, who was diagnosed at age seven with Asperger’s syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism. He suffered in many ways. Impulse control was difficult and in kindergarten, he was suspended from school six times for behavior he couldn’t control. Sitting still was agony for him, and sometimes he wasn’t able to refrain from hitting himself. Amanda wanted to hug the son she loved so dearly, but he loathed physical contact. So she though she would never get to cuddle Joey, according to Recovery From Autism.
Then, a few months ago they saw an adorable soft gray pit bull named Roxy on the Best Friends Pet Adoption & Spay/Neuter Center of Los Angeles website. For Joey and his mother, it was love at first sight. The rescue center was running a special event whereby shelter dogs could be adopted for $10. So Amanda and Joey went to meet Roxy.
Once they met Roxy for the first time, the happy, playful dog immediately ran for Joey, ignoring the others in the room. It was a very special match. The pair bonded so greatly, Roxy opened up something in Joey that he wasn’t able to do before: to show affection for another. Joey said that she “opened his heart,” which made it easier for him to make friends and give his mom hugs and kisses. Joey said the following according to One Green Planet.
“If I’ve been having a bad day, Roxy can hear a tone in my voice. She runs up to me to give me a giant hug and lick me to death and do almost anything she can to make me happy.”
And Amanda said that she thinks that the special bond between her son and Roxy is because they have something in common: both people with autism and pit bulls are often misunderstood. She stated the following, according to Today.
“I get emotional thinking about it. For all those years, he wouldn’t hold my hand, he wouldn’t hug me– it was all part of the autism–but this dog has taught him how to give and show affection. He holds my hand now! He hugs me! The first time I got a kiss on the cheek was when Roxy came home.”
And Joey too recognizes the changes in himself because of Roxy. He said the following, according to Today.
“I didn’t have too many friends growing up, but then we got Roxy and I’ve been able to make friends ever since. At home, I’ve been able to hold my mom’s hand, kiss her, hug her and do a lot of things that I hadn’t been able to do growing up….She’s opened up my heart….If I’ve been having a bad day, Roxy can hear a tone in my voice. She runs up to me to give me a giant hug and lick me to death and do almost anything she can to make me happy.”
There is a special video of Joey and Roxy together, showing their special relationship.
Dogs truly are man’s best friend. A new study from researchers at Japan’s Azabu University may explain why dogs are really seen as man’s best friend and explain the bond between man and his canine companion. There is truly a basic connection. According to researchers, when man and dogs look into each other’s eyes, each experiences a surge of oxytocin, the hormone associated with trust and love and is largely responsible for maternal bonding, according to an article in the Inquisitr.
[Photos Courtesy Best Friends]