EXCLUSIVE: Diamond the dog has really lived up to her name by bringing the absolute best out of her ten-year-old ‘buddy’ whose confidence has grown tenfold that to her doting care
An autistic girl was almost unrecognisable after just seven days with her new ‘miracle’ dog.
Buddy dog Diamond has blown away mum-of-two Nicola Moss since joining the family last August, as a full time carer for 10-year-old Ella.
Nicola explained they looked into the Guide Dog scheme after Ella started her first ever conversation with a working dog.
Diamond has even relieved Ella’s younger sister of a job looking after her, which has allowed little Issy to be nothing but a child for the first time.
Nicola from Belber, Derbyshire told the Daily Star: “She wasn’t talking until she was four when she started school and her first word was to an actual guide dog. It was the Guide Dog owner who said have you thought about it?”
Ella grew up feeling isolated and anxious as a result of Autism Spectrum Disorder, coping with developmental impairment as well as being partially sighted.
Short of confidence and needing almost round the clock attention from her parents, Ella’s struggles impacted the whole family.
Her arrival was six years of persistence in the making.
Nicola said: “Going back six years we started looking into what would help and different methods and it popped up about buddy dogs so we got onto the waiting list.
“It was one of those things where you had to keep applying and applying and I kept doing it, I weren’t giving up. I just felt like if she can talk to a dog and have that emotional connection, it might help but I did not expect it to help as much as it has, at all.
“Then Diamie came along and within a week there was a huge difference, just a week from her arriving to the week after for Isobelle’s birthday, she was a lot calmer. The household was a lot calmer.”
Diamond’s extraordinary ability to sense Ella’s emotional state, what she needs and when has been a help Nicola says she and her husband cannot imagine now living without.
Whether it’s lying on Ella’s lap or even tucking her in, Diamond has proven she is well qualified for her buddy’s needs.
Nicola said: “Within a few weeks, Ella fell over outside absolutely hysterical Diamie wouldn’t come towards her so Ella went to Issy because Diamie could see Ella needed an adult.
“Her knees were cut, we got home got her on the sofa, tried to calm her down and Diamie goes and takes a blanket to tuck her in because she was calm enough to know what to do with her.
The now much relieved mum said it became clear Ella reacted well to pressure therapy when Isobelle would instinctively lie on her as a toddler and it would instantly relax her.
Nicola continued: “Ella’s sister came along just as she started school and Issy would just start crawling to her sister when she was having a meltdown or struggling, and lie on top of her without being told or asked to.
“It was just something natural that she just did which is when we found out she likes pressure therapy, that was something I’d heard dogs could do before so I wondered it that would help.
“As Issy started to sit up and grow hair, Ella started to pet her and stroke her when she was upset, I thought this is getting ridiculous now, she’s her sister, it’s not right but it calmed her so it was like we were stuck between a hot and a cold place, what do you do?”
“But Isabelle is now a five-year-old child, not a carer. She can be a child again. I don’t feel like I have to be there for Ella now all the time because Diamie is always there wherever Ella goes Diamie goes.
“She’s a miracle,” Nicola added.
“You know dogs are intelligent and have got their own quirks but oh my god it was literally unbelievable just to see it happening in front of your eyes.
“Within a week there was a huge difference, just a week from her arriving to the week after for Isobelle’s birthday, she was a lot calmer. The household was a lot calmer, Ella had a lot more interaction and her speech is better now.”