SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Thanks to $25,000 of fundraising money, one Ocean Springs boy is adjusting to new life with his service dog.
The family of Luke Ross says from the looks of immediate results, service dog Amigo is the answer to their prayers.
"He's comforting him with his weight, and Luke loves that he loves that deep pressure the feel of that weight," said Luke's mom, Mary.
The fun-loving 8 year old is the typical kid. He likes to play games and watch TV. But, there's something else that makes him very special.
"Luke is considered severely autistic," Mary said.
Luke is non-verbal, an elopement risk, and also suffers from meltdowns. That's where Amigo comes in to help.
"He can bring him that comfort and that calm that we can't," Mary noted.
Luke's new companion comes from service dogs by Warren Retrievers. Trainer Erin Gray is spending a few days with the Ross' to make sure they adapt.
The pup is already opening up opportunities the family wasn't sure they'd ever see.
"Yesterday was our first outing with Luke in probably years. Just the noise and the crowds and the bright lights, there's a lot of stuff that sets him off," said Mary. "It was amazing just to see us be able to take our son out with us now," said Mrs. Ross.
As the family continues to adapt, they hope those who made Amigo possible can see what a difference it's already making in their lives.
Luke's family hopes that with more training with Amigo, Luke will be able to venture outside of his self-contained classroom, and they can go on family vacation.