Seven-year-old Beau once struggled through each and every day. The simplest of tasks—getting out of bed, getting dressed, even walking out of his room or talking with his family—were all so challenging for Beau that they often ended in complete meltdown.
His mum Diana, dad Leigh and sister Lara all felt the weight of these struggles too. But when Companion Dog Bonnie arrived just a few months ago, their lives changed completely…
When baby Beau was born, he was just like any other boy. As he grew, his parents started to notice that something wasn’t quite right. Without warning, Beau would drop to the ground so hard and fast he couldn’t stop. Sometimes these seizures would last for several minutes, and it took all their strength to stay calm for Beau.
Beau was diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome, an extremely rare genetic and neurological disorder, when he was just 3 years old. As he got older, Beau developed anxiety as part of his condition. Often, his anxiety set off a seizure—it was a vicious cycle.
The family lived with constant fear. If Beau was missing from her sight for just a few minutes, his sister Lara had a panic attack. Diana explains:
“We were constantly on edge—we were all on full alert, all the time.”
But earlier this year, a special dog named Bonnie transformed their lives forever. Beau and Bonnie became instant friends. And beautiful Bonnie brought Beau a joy that he had not felt before.
At seven years old, he’d only mastered a handful of words—but suddenly Beau had someone who understood him. Diana and Leigh are relieved to know that “wherever he ends up, she’ll be with him.”
“Bonnie has made such a difference to our lives. She’s worth her weight in gold. No amount of medication would make the difference that Bonnie has.”
Since Bonnie’s arrival, Beau’s anxiety has eased. And with Bonnie by his side, Beau’s family can finally relax—because since her arrival, he has not had a single seizure.
But there are many families like Beau’s who are struggling through each day.
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Many heartfelt thanks to Alex Cearns from Houndstooth Studio for photography.