Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, February 4, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:8



Mountain Views-News Saturday, February 4, 2017 




Service Dogs Provide Therapy For 

Autistic Children

Frazer is a lovely, gentle dog who was found as 
a stray wandering in traffic. He was brought to 
the shelter where he can be safe until he finds 
his forever home. Frazer is a black mixed breed 
dog, thought to have Labrador and American 
Staffordshire terrier in his lineage. 
Frazer seems to love people, and is 
only too happy to climb into a lap 
with all of his 70 pounds. He likes to 
cuddle while being petted, and his 
charm is hard to resist.

 Frazer loves going for walks. 
He is a strong boy who responds 
to correction and is learning how 
to heel. He seems interested in 
meeting other dogs. Frazer also has 
a playful side and likes to toss a toy 
around to amuse himself. Although 
he is 2-years-old, he still has some 
puppy left in his personality. This 
sweet boy deserves a safe and loving 
home where he is treated as part of the family. He 
needs regular exercise and would benefit from 
obedience training. If you have the room for a 
big dog, please consider Frazer. If you meet him, 
he is sure to steal your heart. Her adoption fee is 
$145, which includes spay surgery, a microchip, 
first vaccinations and a free wellness check-up at 
a participating veterinarian. Feel free to call us at 
(626) 286-1159 for more information 
on Frazer. He currently resides at the 
San Gabriel Valley Humane Society 
located at 851 E. Grand Avenue in 
San Gabriel which is located off San 
Gabriel Blvd, north of Mission and 
south of Las Tunas Drive. To arrange 
a ‘Meet and Greet’ with Frazer, please 
stop by any time from 10:30am to 
4:30pm Tuesday through Sunday. 

 Go to and 
find the San Gabriel Valley Humane 
Society and every time you buy 
something 0.5% will be donated to 
the shelter! It’s easy to do and helps 
the shelter with every purchase you make! Let 
your friends know about this simple way to make 
a difference!

Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of complex 
neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social 
impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, 
repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior. Autistic 
disorder, commonly known as Autism, is the most 
severe form of ASD, while other conditions along the 
spectrum include a milder form known as Asperger 
syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder and personal 
development disorder not otherwise specified (usually 
referred to as PDD-NOS).

 Experts estimate that 1 out of 88 children age 8 will 
have an ASD (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, March 30, 2012). 
Autism occurs in all ethnic and socioeconomic groups 
and affects every age group, although statistics show that 
males are four times more likely to have some form of ASD 
than females.

 The hallmark feature of Autism is impaired social 
interaction. A child with Autism may appear to develop 
normally and then withdraw and become indifferent 
to social engagement. They may fail to respond to their 
names and often avoid eye contact with other people. They 
may also engage in repetitive movements such as rocking 
and twirling and often have difficulty playing interactively 
with other children.

 There are various therapies known to help Autistic 
children with behavior modification using positive 
reinforcement, but success is limited with no promise 
that the child will ever become completely independent. 
Indeed, in most cases, the Autistic child will remain fully 
dependent on others for the entire duration of their life.

 No matter how much a parent loves their Autistic 
child, there is only so much they can do and there are 
only so many hours in a day. We humans are limited to 
a finite amount of energy and number waking hours, 
regardless of how dedicated we may be to a cause. This 
becomes particularly problematic when there are other 
siblings in the home, with their own set of needs for love 
and attention. Often parents become exhausted with the 
constant demands of raising an Autistic child, and they 
must reach out for help.

 In comes the canine. That’s right, there are service 
dogs specifically trained for the sole purpose of assisting 
Autistic children! Just the thought of this warms my heart. 
Although it comes as no surprise to me, 
because it just makes sense that a dog 
could do such a thing for a child in need. 
But when I read about how and why 
interaction with a therapy dog can have 
such a positive impact on an Autistic 
child, other than the obvious benefits we 
all get from our pets, I was truly amazed. 
It is more scientific than you might think.

 First, here is a little background on 
what has been found to be a major culprit 
of Autism. Cortisol is the body’s stress 
hormone, produced in anticipation 
of stressful situations. A body’s level 
of cortisol typically peaks a half hour 
after waking, which is called “Cortisol 
Awakening Response” (CAR). By measuring CAR, 
scientists can determine how stressed someone is, without 
having to verbally ask them questions.

 According to a relatively new study at the University of 
Montreal, “Effects of Service Dogs on Salivary Cortisol 
Secretion in Autistic Children”, specifically trained 
service dogs can help reduce anxiety and enhance the 
social skills of children with Autism. “Our findings show 
that the dogs had a clear impact on the children’s stress 
hormone levels”, says Sonia Lupien, senior researcher and 
professor at the UM Dept. of Psychiatry, and Director of 
Centre for Studies on Human Stress at Louis-H Lafontaine 
Hospital. She continued, “I have not seen such a dramatic 
effect before.”

 The test results showed an average CAR level increase 
of 58% prior to the introduction of a service dog. With a 
service dog, tests showed the CAR levels plummeted to a 
mere 10% increase, significantly lower than before. Next, 
the dog was taken away for four weeks, and the CAR shot 
back up to a 48% increase every morning as the child awoke 
from sleep. Remarkable results, to say the least! Lupien also 
observed a notable improvement in the children’s behavior 
with a decrease in irritability and incidents of “acting out”, 
as reported by their parents.

 A number of hypotheses were drawn, to explain the 
desirable CAR response experienced by the subject 
children after spending time with the dogs, including 
positive psychological factors (e.g. calmer, happier 
children), or changes in their sleep patterns (some parents 
reported improved sleep habits when the service dogs were 
in the home), or perhaps the presence of the dogs created 
an anchoring effect that made testing cortisol levels easier 
on the children. For whatever reason, the fact remains 
that the dogs’ presence had a very positive impact on the 
children, and that is a fantastic fact!

 I found several groups on line, that offer trained service 
dogs to children with Autism, but the one that impressed 
me the most is 4 Paws for Ability. They were the first group 
to start training dogs for the specific purpose of assisting 
Autistic children, and in spite of the huge number of calls 
they receive every year, they have never turned down 
a child in need of a canine companion. It must be very 
gratifying to know you are helping a child with Autism by 
training a dog to be their best friend!

Looking for your true love this Valentine’s Day? Then 
look no further than SLATER, who says, “B Mine”. He is 
ready to give you lots of love, kisses, & cuddles. He’s super-
sweet and gets along with everyone! Easily held, too. 
He’ll B your purr-rect sweetheart. Slater is a handsome 
gray tabby with white, and is about 8 months old. Let’s 
get him a loving, 
forever home by 
Valentine’s Day! 
Call 909-561-
7700 for adoption 

 Lifeline for 
Pets is a small no-
kill rescue. We 
show some cats 
most Sunday 
afternoons at 
Petsmart, 3347 E. 
Foothill Blvd. in Pasadena, 12:30-3:30. 

Adoption fee is $100 , which includes spay, microchip, 
exam & vaccines. A great savings! Our cats are negative 
FELV/FIV unless otherwise indicated. 

See more pictures, adoption info & application on our 
website, Sorry, we are not 
accepting cats at this time.

GOOD NEWS: Adoption pending on Delilah!




Yoga is about com-
fort, spontaneity, 
and balance. It’s 
balance in body, 
mind, and life. 
I compare the 
feeling of a great yoga practice with the feeling of living 
comfortably in my own skin. Both have challenges and 
points of ease and joy. Wouldn’t it be great if we strike a 
balance between ease and challenge? 

 The process begins with relaxing. Sounds easy -- 
but, oh boy - it can be hard when stress and tension 
are built up. In yoga, we begin the process of relaxation 
with breathing -- even, smooth breaths beginning 
in the belly. To let the abdomen fully breathe is an 
accomplishment. Most of us exist in the world of chest 
breathing. Often, it’s shallow breath, sometimes with 
seemingly unnoticeable pauses. 

 Next, set the stage to help the body relax. This means 
making the body as comfortable as possible. Think 
about when you’ve tried to relax at home or in yoga 
class and something just wasn’t right. You were cold, 
in a wrong position, or your clothes weren’t adjusted on 
your body the way you needed. It’s all these subtle points 
that keep tension held in the body. Don’t put up with it! 
Make yourself comfortable. Find the environment that’s 
best for you to heal, relax, and soothe an active mind. 

 Having enough time to fully relax is essential. 
Consider a cat nap in the late afternoon, but don’t 
actually sleep. Lie down and make your body as 
comfortable as possible, as if you were lying on a cloud. 
Just watch the breath and begin deep belly breathing. 
Continue until you feel quiet and tranquil. As you 
transition back into your day, notice how the breath 
and relaxation have changed things for you. Do you 
easily fall into the balance of ease, spontaneity, and joy? 
Are you able to handle difficulties with awareness and 
responsiveness (instead of reactivity)? 

 Namaste friends! Yoga Madre has an exceptional 
Restorative class; Sundays at 5 pm. Check it out and see 
if you can find the rhythm of finding comfort and ease.

Love, Keely Totten 

Walter Cailleteau, DVM Free Exam!
927 N. Michillinda Ave. For New Clients 
Pasadena, CA 91107 Bring this coupon to save! 
(626) 351-8863
Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: