Gilbert and Charlie
Spring is trying to awaken our spirits. The daffodils hold up their cheery heads, goldfinches appear at our feeder as yellow drops of color, and the sun keeps trying to light up the landscape and our mood. Gilbert is happy to once again take long walks, in between rainfalls, and even go on a few bike rides. Lu has fashioned a stand on his three-wheeled recumbent bike for Gilbert to hop on and ride, as sitting on his lap for those downhill stretches was too clumsy.
Easter is now but a fond memory. Our daughter called before the holiday to make sure Lu brought Gilbert to our family/friends gathering. She wanted to connect Gilbert again to Charlie, a little boy dear to our hearts. Charlie has recently been diagnosed with autism. Charlie and his twin brother were born three months early. Now the twins are five and otherwise healthy. We noticed at a family reunion in Whalan last summer that Charlie and Gilbert seemed to connect on a level that was different than with the numerous other children at the gathering. Gilbert had a calming effect with Charlie on Easter as well, letting the little boy snuggle into his fur for a hug, and lead him around by his leash. Gilbert seems to know Charlie’s need for his quiet presence in a way that is beyond our understanding. It is easy to see that Gilbert and Charlie share a special bond when they get together.
Knowing Gilbert’s success story with Lu, Charlie’s parents, Kayla and Tyler, have started the long process of searching for a service dog. They looked into Can Do Canines, but the wait is over two years. Life with autism is full of daily challenges, from meltdowns to sleepless nights, and the help of a canine friend is needed sooner. Charlie needs the comfort and reassurance the right dog will bring. Hopefully, a service dog will help him with social interactions, tamping down the anxiety autistic children often experience daily and lend a peaceful presence at bedtime. So the family has started to work with a trainer in Rochester, as the wait will be considerably shorter, though much more expensive. Read all about Charlie’s journey at his blog, Charlieandhisdog.blogspot.com. There is a fundraising effort underway at youcaring.com, and you can help him by clicking on Charlie’s Service Dog Fundraiser.
Charlie’s story will warm your heart and give you insights into the world of autism.
Thin and Tasty Grilled Pizzas
Spread a 12” flour tortilla with purchased or homemade marinara sauce. Top with cooked meat, veggies, herbs, and cheeses of your choice. We topped our latest concoction with marinara sauce, cooked sausage, chopped onions, poblano peppers, herbs, and cheddar and parmesan cheese. Grill at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or more, depending on the thickness of your toppings.