An abandoned dog nobody wanted has found a home with a woman on the autistic spectrum who was struggling with the lockdown.Cheryl Taylor, 33, has battled severe anxiety while being stuck at home but now has five-year-old Bull Breed Cross dog Beauty to help her manage. Cheryl, from Sutton in Nottingham, adopted support pet Beauty from the RSPCA’s Chesterfield and North Derbyshire branch after the doggo’s previous owners didn’t want her. Cheryl, who has autism spectrum condition, struggles with high levels of anxiety and best friend Beauty has been helping her navigate isolation.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a condition that affects social interaction, communication, interests, and behaviour.
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Having the furry companion to look after has helped Cheryl have some routine and normality during the lockdown, along with support and affection.
She said: ‘I will never forget the day this amazing dog came into my life.
‘Even though I fully understood the massive responsibilities of taking care of a dog, this did not phase me in the least.
‘Beauty is more than just a dog to me; she is my best friend.’
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Cheryl added that despite Beauty not having any formal assistance dog training, the pet is intuitive and picks up on how she is feeling.
‘She is a very sensitive dog who is able to pick up on how I am feeling with no encouragement,’ she said.
‘If I’m particularly upset she will immediately sit, and raise her paw.
‘If I sit down with her, she will give me a hug, often by placing one or two paws on my shoulder and resting her head on me.’
She also provides a good sense of personal security for Cheryl and usually alerts her if there’s anyone outside.
During the lockdown, Beauty has given Cheryl a reason to get outside and not isolate too much.
She added: ‘This has been a difficult time but the lockdown has been that little bit easier for me thanks to Beauty.
‘She’s given me a valid reason to go out and spend time in nature; she loves the woods, the sounds of the birds and spotting squirrels.
‘She provides me with judgment-free companionship as I lack the ability to form many kinds of social relationships with other people.
‘Beauty has a home with me for the rest of her life and is now a member of my family.’
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