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Great Work is to love what you do

A Blog by Oskar & Good Dog! Eddie's Mom

There are moments on this parenting journey with a child who is on the autism spectrum that are too telling not to share, especially with the organization that changed all our lives. I often get asked in public spaces if Eddie likes working, because he is the king of the side eye burn and he does not like to be interrupted on the job. This means he often looks annoyed when, in reality, he’s just focused on his boy. Add in the fact that high functioning kids don’t always “look autistic” and you can imagine the conversations..

This weekend was a good reminder that one of Oskar’s great challenges is the transference of information and experience from one situation to another. We were deeper in a national park in a section where Oskar hadn’t been to before. He completely melted down about being on a mountain and was expressing how terrified he was. When we were finally able to stop at the top, he and Eddie crawled under a stone picnic table to decompress. I had to take a picture from both sides because I wanted to be able to share in some small way both the level of hardship for Oskar and the level of joy Eddie gets from helping his boy, see above. The picture below is to share how amazingly well trained Eddie is - that’s one of a group of baby elk that came over to say hi, and Eddie watched attentively because hey, wouldn’t you? But stayed right next to his boy, because that’s the job he loves.

The two pictures below show how Eddie helped Oskar turn it around and enjoy his day on Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park. He went from a virtual wasteland to just another silly ten year old boy.

Good Dog! Eddie is the best thing that’s happened to us on this journey and we are so grateful. Without him, it would’ve been a long hysterical ride home without ever experiencing the mountain. Instead, Oskar was comfortable enough to work through it and talk about it, and then play with his dog and pals just like any other 10 year old in the park. And Eddie did not bother any of the dozens of elk we encountered (some literally coming up within inches), the mama and baby deers, the marmosets, or the gazillion chipmunks. He was content to be with his boy and watch the “giant bunnies” play in their natural habitat because he loves his job, side eye and all. Thank you for what you do and for every family you touch. Your work is changing lives.

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