For many people who have a service dog in their life, their dog is so much more than just a pet and a companion, they’re actually a vital lifeline that they could not survive without. And Haley Martin, who lives in Sydney, Australia, knows first hand just how much of an integral part of her life her service dog Marley is.
Haley lives with autism and as a result, can experience some rather crippling sensory overload as well as panic attacks. Before she got Marley, those moments in life were quite scary and draining. However, thanks to Marley’s presence in her life, she’s experienced a change.
Haley first got Marley back in May of 2018, since then, her dog has had a positive change on her mental health, as well as her overall outlook and well-being.
In 2019, Haley shared, “This dog has saved my life. He has become my service dog. He has made me more independent. Has given me so much of my life back.”
One of the things that Marley is trained to do, is to spot the signs of a panic attack, and then provide Haley with soothing comfort in order to prevent her from getting hurt.
In order to raise awareness of the power of service dogs, Haley recorded a very raw and powerful video which depicted one of her episodes, and how vital a role Marley plays in getting her through it. She then shared the video to the Dogspotting Society Facebook page.
Viewers of the video can see as Haley gets more and more visibly agitated. She then starts to scratch and hit her legs as a means of calming herself down, however, Marley steps in and intervenes by placing his paw over her hand.
Haley continuously swats away his paw, but the gentle and patient dog continues this action in a very calm manner until he finally gets a chance to jump up and give her a “forced hug” as he licks her face. While she’s still visibly distressed, once he does this, she starts to calm down and settle, eventually wrapping her arms around Marley.
When she uploaded the video, she wrote, “So grateful to have this boy every single day. This was harder to upload, and it’s a bit more severe than the others. But I wanna show people that dogs can help in great ways.”
Naturally, when she uploaded the video, many people commented on it – commending her bravery of being vulnerable and sharing her story with others.
It is always lovely to see people supporting others. Haley and Marley have their own Instagram where they regularly share their story and adventures with others.
You can watch the incredibly powerful video of a service dog doing his job in the video below:
TW//Here is what my autism service dog Marley does to help me when IM having a more severe attack (Yes I filmed it for awareness and training to see what I can get Marley to improve on ect)I can hit myself as a stimming type thing ad a self regulation to try and calm myself down But Marley is trained to interupt that behaviourSee how he gets his paws and fact right between my arms and my face and pulls them away into a forced hug At the beginning he is doing alerts ad to rich I kept ignoring (lol)He is also licking my tears 🥺So grateful to have this boy every single daThis was harder to upload and it's abit more severe than the others But I wanna show people that dogs can help in great ways
Posted by Hayley Martin on Saturday, January 18, 2020