Americus boy with Autism gets service dog

Americus boy with Autism gets service dog
Brandey Herring, Mother
Brandey Herring, Mother
Matilda, Service dog from 4 Paws for Ability
Matilda, Service dog from 4 Paws for Ability

AMERICUS, GA (WALB) - A 10-year-old Americus boy with autism finally has a service dog and his mother has a grateful heart.

For two years, Brandey Herring worked to raise thousands of dollars to help her son with his disability.  She says it wouldn't have been possible without help from the community.

For three weeks 10-year-old Miles Jackson has been training with One-year-old Matilda, a Golden Retriever and Lab mix.

"Until I saw the things in action, I really had no idea how great it was going to be," said Brandey Herring, Mother.

Matilda is a certified service dog from '4 Paws for Ability' an organization that provides assistance dogs for children with autism. Miles and his mother flew to Cincinnati where they underwent intense training with Matilda.

"It was 12 days straight for 9 hours each day," said Herring.

Matilda is trained to help Miles with calming, behavior disruption, tracking and much more.

"Tethering is another thing she's trained in," said Herring. "So that he wears a backpack and she is attached on her harness to him to prevent him from eloping and say running out in front of a car for example."

They were also required to pass a certification test. Herring says they have a lot more training to do.

"As he does a behavior or something is upsetting him I will mark it for her and train her to interrupt it," said Herring.

 Herring says she's pleased with Matilda's work so far.

"The tracking and tethering she's great at, she's great at the tracking," said Herring. "She's great at all of it actually."

Herring says she is also working with school officials so Miles can bring Matilda to school with him.

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