Kyan and his service dog Mikey have been training together for two weeks. (Contributed)

Kyan and his service dog Mikey have been training together for two weeks. (Contributed)

Autism service dog to graduate in Kelowna

The graduation ceremony will take place at the Orchard Mall in Kelowna on Thursday

An autism service dog team will officially graduate from B.C. and Alberta Guide Dogs in Kelowna this week.

A young boy named Kyan will graduate with his new autism support dog, Mikey, after two weeks of working one-on-one with autism support instructor Michelle Murray.

READ MORE: Province to invest $2 million for mental health programs

B.C. and Alberta Guide Dogs breeds, raises and trains autism support dogs that are provided to children ages 3-10 with moderate to profound autism.

These certified support dogs are provided, along with training and aftercare support, at no cost to families for the working life of the dog, typically for eight years.

For Kyan’s family, an autism support dog means safety and security but is also valuable support for his interacting with other children.

“Some kids with ASD are lonely and have difficulty making friends,” said Kyan’s father Rick.

“Mikey is so lovable and Kyan is warming up to him quite quickly.

“We see him and Kyan being best buds and also being a great primer for other kids to meet and interact with Kyan.”

Mikey will be the family’s second autism support dog from B.C. and Alberta Guide Dogs.

Kyan’s brother Dylan was placed with an autism support dog, Logan, back in 2008 as the organization’s second graduate in B.C.

“Our kids were tirelessly supported and protected by Logan who was the nucleus of our pod everywhere we went,” Rick continued.

“Mikey has huge paws to fill and in just a short week we are reminded of the magic of these special dogs and amazing program.”

Kyan and his father Rick were on hand at the Orchard Shopping Centre on Thursday to share the impact of receiving an autism support dog.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Classroom chairs (Pixabay photo)
Kelowna elementary school flagged for COVID-19 exposure

Interior Health confirmed an exposure at Black Mountain Elementary School

Police outside a home on Leathead Road on Monday evening. (Jen Zielinski - Black Press Media)
Police presence at home near Ben Lee Park in Rutland

Several RCMP cruisers are on scene; Leathead closed between Franklyn and Hollywood

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
253 new COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths in Interior Health over the weekend

More than 1,000 cases in the region remain active

Sunnybank
COVID-19 related deaths at Oliver, West Kelowna and Vernon senior care homes

Sunnybank, Heritage Retirement Residence and Noric House recorded deaths over the weekend

Man arrested at home on Byrne Avenue. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Reports of Kelowna house fire with entrapment unfounded, man arrested

The report prompted a large response by emergency crews

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
No Pfizer vaccines arriving in Canada next week; feds still expect 4M doses by end of March

More cases of U.K. variant, South African variant found in Canada

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP intercepted an impaired driver Sunday afternoon, Jan. 17, 2021. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Impaired driver pulled off Vernon road thanks to public tip

RCMP Drug Recognition Expert called in for assistance in investigation of Coldstream man

Health-care workers wait in line at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians who have had COVID-19 should still get the vaccine, experts say

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were found to have a 95 per cent efficacy

An empty Peel and Sainte-Catherine street is shown in Montreal, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Poll finds strong support for COVID-19 curfews despite doubts about effectiveness

The poll suggests 59 per cent remain somewhat or very afraid of contracting COVID-19

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Interior Health confirms vaccination of priority populations has begun in Salmon Arm. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccinations underway in Salmon Arm

Interior Health confirms vaccination of priority populations has begun

Most Read