Meet our Studio Pups: Yeti and Sparkle
Meet Sparkle and Yeti, our in-studio pups! They are available to join in sessions in the upstairs studio, for kids who respond well to dogs.
Yeti is shown above.
Here is Sparkle!
Sparkle is a Malshi - a Maltese Shih-tzu mix. She's very tiny but so full of personality! She has learned to smile, and loves being held and looking into your eyes. Sparkle is four years old. Her birthday is on Halloween! She's been with us since she was 3 months old. We love her dearly. She is patient with kids and all kinds of people. Sparkle is a tiny, sweet little lady.
Yeti is Sparkle's son! He is 25% Maltese, 25% Shih-tzu, and 50% Bichon Frise -- and 100% sweetheart. Yeti is exactly twice as big as his mom! He is very calm, loving, and craves attention and hugs. He also loves to gaze into your eyes and pat your arm with his paw. Yeti is a lovely, patient boy. He is three years old and was born in our home. We named him Yeti because when he stands up, he really looks like one!
Sparkle and Yeti are not trained therapy dogs. However, they are part of our team and are good-natured, furry friends.
They both love hearing their name, being talked to, being cuddled up, and of course receiving treats.
Multiple research studies have shown that many children (70-90%) with ASD and other developmental disabilities benefit from interacting with pets, particularly in development of social skills. Other studies show calming benefits. Here is one article from Autism Speaks that summarizes some of the research.
Researchers found that in families that introduced a dog into their home, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder showed an increase in "prosocial behaviors" including empathic behaviors like offering to share or comfort. This research article is here, if you'd like to explore the details.