Soooooo big day came today and we left at 7am this morning to drive to Lymm between Manchester and Warrington.  Took us 3 hours and the kids were perfect, no escaping car seats and we overruled Shane to get Capital on instead of radio 4 so quite a pleasant jaunt down the beautiful scenery of the A69. 

Lymm is really pretty like a Midsomer Murders type of place, leafy with enormous houses. When we arrived at The Animal Behaviour Centre we were greeted by Greg.  Pablo lives with Greg and his partner and has done from being tiny.  

Reilly was unsure.  He didn’t want to go in but he had just travelled 3 hours after being woken up at 6am and was in a strange setting with people and dogs he’s not met before so we weren’t one bit surprised so he was allowed to just wander and skirt the outsides of the Centre until he was ready to move in a bit more. Ellis on the other hand was straight in. 

When Pablo has his smart red Autism Dog jacket on it’s strictly business so no playing, no petting etc.  Jacket came off and Ellis played for an hour learning commands and throwing Pablo’s toy.  I’ve not seen Ellis this happy in a long time. 

We moved inside to chat about plans with Tina who owns the Centre. She’s a highly accredited trainer and believe me when she says the dog comes first,  she means it. We chatted about what we want from Pablo and my thoughts on that are unchanged. 

A) Anti-Bolt – will anchor if Reilly tries to run

b) crossing – like a guard, safety from people and hazards

c) meltdowns and pressure – self explanatory these amazing dogs apply pressure to increase security and calm the person. 

Pablo already rings a bell to go out and is trained to a high standard already.  He can even find your keys if you lose them!! He can be trained to lie with Reilly until he’s asleep and then move to his own bed. 

I’m in awe of these beautiful animals and the people who put so much into training them. 

Pablo and Reilly have to be a match. Tina, Greg and Lucy must be happy with us and our set up as much as we must be happy with Pablo.  Reilly did eventually move inside and played alongside Pablo but not directly but I’m 100% confident that will come.  Everything with Reilly takes time, patience and understanding.  This is no exception. 

I’m really happy with our first visit.  This takes a lot of effort on everyone’s parts, we need to pass training ourselves with Pablo and Ellis will have an active roll in there too.  We will be back very soon to see Pablo again and move forward. 
As a treat we came to Gullivers World in Warrington, it’s red hot and there was about 20 people in there so perfect way to round off the day.  I’m now counting down the minutes until Reilly gets his melatonin. We’ve already had 2 extra keys and at least a dozen escape attempts. 

Watch this space for more Pablo updates ❤

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Christine Stephenson

Really busy mam who runs her own charity, has 3 sons and learning about autism every day. Contact me at

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