ADNZT's Wiggles graduated in November 2021, joining his young client Kyle and dad Bruce on an exciting new adventure in Queenstown. For 13-year-old Kyle, the impact of his new best friend was immediate. Kyle uses crutches, and Wiggles is now able to help him manoeuvre around the house, acts as a brace to help Kyle get up, open doors, pick things up, take Kyle's socks off and so much more.
Wiggles creates a welcome diversion for Kyle from his computer and encourages him to venture outside and explore his surroundings. He also provides safety for Kyle while he is out and about, ensuring that if Kyle were to fall or need assistance, there's always someone close by to pick him up and carry on. But most importantly, Wiggles has increased Kyle's confidence and self-esteem dramatically, helping him interact with fellow teenagers and join in activities.
Kyle and Bruce are now able to head out into their community with their trusted Assistance Dog by their side. They've started to interact with local cafe and shop owners who are all interested in Wiggles and the important role he plays for their family. Wiggles gives Kyle a purpose and focus. Whilst Wiggles performs lots of tasks for Kyle around the house, it's Kyle's job to look after his new dog: grooming him, playing with him and making sure Wiggles gets all the love he deserves.
The first day Wiggles joined their family, Kyle lit up and his whole family noticed a dramatic shift in his mood and outlook straight away. He's so much more mobile and eager to try new things, which is extremely important as he returns to high school in 2022.
When off-duty, Wiggles is extremely playful. He acts as a dog-physiotherapist, playing tug-of-war with Kyle over a smelly green blanket which has great sentimental value to Wiggles (if not to Kyle). Wiggles appears to like Beethoven, Bach, and Guns N Roses…or at least he puts up with them.
For Kyle and his dad Bruce, their hope for next year is that Wiggles will help Kyle make new friends, attend school with him and open the door to opportunities that weren't possible before. Wiggles opens up conversations with people in their community and helps others better understand the support Kyle might need. Over time, the family hopes that Kyle's confidence will continue to
increase and will help him live an enriched and fulfilling life as he heads into adulthood. For now, Kyle is so much happier with a new best friend and new opportunities on the horizon.
This Christmas Kyle and Wiggles will be visiting their uncle, aunt and grandmother who will all be meeting Wiggles for the first time and seeing the dramatic difference in their nephew and grandson. And in the new year, they will embark on their first plane ride to Lower Hutt, followed by an exciting new chapter in their lives as Wiggles and Kyle start high school together. Stay tuned!