A Mansfield man with Asperger Syndrome says his life has been transformed by his pet dog who was rescued from a rehoming centre.
Robin Jones, 27, adopted Charlie, a collie Labrador cross, two years ago and now cannot imagine living without his canine companion.
“It isn’t an exaggeration to say I couldn’t get through each day without him, said Robin. “He is wonderful.
“Sometimes the world feels overwhelming and I don’t even have the motivation to get out bed. But then Charlie drags the covers off me and nudges me until I get up. Just seeing him makes me so happy.”
Asperger’s is a disability that affects how Robin perceives the world and interacts with others. It often makes facing the day seem an impossible task, and he can find it stressful to have conversations with others, particularly strangers.
However, since acquiring five-year-old Charlie as a stray, he and his mum, Jenny, have trained him to make every day worth living.
“I have learned to cope at work, but at home, it is tempting to stay in,” said Robin, a service assistant at Screwfix in Mansfield. “So we have trained Charlie to fetch his lead, making it clear it’s time to go for a walk. Even if I don’t feel like it, off we go!
“He also helps me to deal with things that would otherwise be impossible. When my grandfather died, I was extremely anxious about attending the funeral, but Charlie was such a comfort.
“During the service, he lay at my feet and when we walked behind the coffin, it was as if he knew what was expected of him. Simply feeling him next to me calmed me down.”
Celine Di Crocco, manager at the Dogs Trust Loughborough centre, from where Robin got Charlie, said: “They are the perfect partnership and a lovely example of how much a dog can bring to someone’s daily life. The relationship they have is incredible.”