Pets & Animals

Woman with Asperger's syndrome shares video of service dog comforting her to raise awareness

Danielle Jacobs is aware of the side effects of living with Asperger’s syndrome, but she wants everyone else to be too.

That’s why the 24-year-old from Tempe, Arizona, posted this video of her service dog Samson comforting her during a meltdown on June 1. Less than a month later, it’s already garnered over 4 million views.

Jacobs was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in 2013 and met the 4-year-old Rottweiler while volunteering at HALO animal rescue in Phoenix, where she trained the animals.

“She was very focused and had such a love for the animals she worked with,” Erin Denmark, Outreach Manager at HALO, told TODAY.com.

But Jacobs fell especially hard for Samson.

“He seemed to gravitate toward her,” Denmark said. “There was a bond that started to form and she knew it would be more than just training — he was going to go home with her.”

YouTube
This is what having aspergers is like. Please no negative comments this really happened and it's not easy to open myself and share what it's like on a daily basis. This is what's considered a meltdown. Yes Samson is alerting. I trained him to alert to depressive episodes and self harm not both but he alerted. It appears the response is late but it's actually supposed to be as I'm coming out of the meltdown as I tend to have a panic attack after.

After adopting him, Jacobs immediately started training him for service work for Asperger’s syndrome, PTSD, TBI and anxiety disorder.

“He alerts to meltdowns, anger, depressive episodes, flashbacks and nightmares, stimming, provides balance and counterbalance, and alerts to panic attacks,” Jacobs told BuzzFeed.

The pair has been inseparable ever since and now together they’re spreading awareness about Asperger’s syndrome.

“Samson needed her just as much as she needed him,” Denmark said.

0:00
 
0:00
Your video begins in
0:00
TOP