Autistic Boy Was Scared Of Hospital Visit, But His Service Dog Gave Him Courage

As an autistic 9-year-old with intellectual and verbal disabilities, life has always been hard for James Isaac. But things took a miraculous turn when his parents adopted Mahe, a black Labrador who was especially trained to support children on the autism spectrum. Mahe brought a sense of calm to James’ life and significantly helped normalize his behavior at home and school.

Photo credit: Louise Goossens

Posted by James Isaac on Thursday, February 11, 2016

Just as life started looking easier for James, he began suffering from multiple unexplained seizures. It was then that his parents realized the precious bond he had forged with his loyal service dog. Mahe was traumatized every time James suffered from seizures, and he anxiously followed his little human to the hospital to make sure he was okay.

The hospital visit was a revelation to James’ family as Mahe simply refused to leave the boy alone – even for a second! When James got terrified of the MRI machine, Mahe snuggled up to him and comforted him with his love. For the rest of the hospital stay, it became obvious that the faithful pooch wouldn’t budge from his spot on James’ bed!

Catching up on some photos…. James and Mahe visiting the tram museum in Paraparaumu in the summer holidays. Mahe was awesome on the tram trip – not phased at all!

Posted by James Isaac on Thursday, March 20, 2014

James is doing fine now, and growing up well beside his furry best friend. His parents believe that Mahe has transformed their family dynamics. Earlier, the family felt desperate and socially isolated due to their child’s autism. But now, Mahe has helped them overpower their setbacks and embrace life together as a strong and happy family!

Click the video below to watch how Mahe loyally protected and comforted James during his terrifying hospital stay.

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10 of the Smartest Dogs in the World:


A friend of mine has a beautiful Dalmatian. Friendly, energetic and lovable, she was a perfect family pet… but she wasn’t the smartest pooch on the planet. See, she knew how to go through the pet door out into the garden, but she had no clue how to get back inside. It never occurred to her that the flap could swing both ways. So she would sit outside and howl until my friend would open the door.

Repeated demonstrations of the dual movement of the flap had no effect; it just did not compute. The dog breeds on this list, however, probably don’t have that problem. They’re widely considered to be among the cleverest canines in the world. Take a look and see if you agree.

1. German Shepherd

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No surprise here. German Shepherds are the world’s best police dogs, military dogs, and some have even been movie stars (remember Rin Tin Tin?). Brave, loyal, smart and strong, they’re the total package.

2. Beagle

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Also on the list of the best family-friendly dogs in the world, the Beagle has an incredible nose that lets them sniff out just about anything. Born detectives, they’re not the most trainable pets, but they are smart. And hey, nobody ever accused Snoopy of being dumb.

3. Golden Retriever

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A popular choice for assistance dogs for their easy temperament, natural intelligence and loyalty, Golden Retrievers are natural guides and also serve as great rescue dogs. Active and fun to be around, they’re wonderful family pets.

4. Border Collie

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Border Collies are considered by many to be the geniuses of the dog world. Expert herders, laser-focused (they’re known for their intense stare), and incredibly agile to boot, they’re workaholics and excellent athletes. Just don’t expect to keep one cooped up in an apartment.

5. Poodle


Did you know poodles were originally hunting dogs? They respond very well to training and are quick to learn tricks. So don’t let the fluffy looks and styled mane fool you! These dogs are among the smart canines around. Plus, they’re among the best dogs in the world for those who suffer allergies.

6. Belgian Malinois


A terrific military dog, the Malinois is a natural herder, tracker and worker. Smart, trainable and protective, these dogs require an owner who knows what he or she is doing. In addition to the military, Malinois are often recruited as guard dogs and police dogs as well.

7. Papillon

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Named for their butterfly-shaped ears, papillons are small, cute and pretty smart. They’re considered the smartest of the toy dog breed, with intelligence levels comparable to the über-smart border collie. They’re alert and focused pets, and loyal and lovable: an ideal friend for he family.

8. Doberman


Sadly, Dobermans are known more for their ferocity than their smarts, but these are considered among the most intelligent dogs in the world, as well as one of the most effective guard dogs around. They’re outstanding students known to be affectionate and obedient.

9. Bloodhound

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Don’t let the wrinkles and dopey expression fool you! Bloodhounds have the keenest of noses, and are often used for trailing (so much so that their evidence can be used in court against you!). These are loving but strong-willed dogs, and are often used on search and rescue missions.

10. Australian Cattle Dog

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You need a smart, determined and energetic dog to control unruly cows. And that’s just what the Australian Cattle Dog, or ACD, does. They’re intelligent enough to herd these much larger creatures, and while they need their independence and wide open spaces, they’re eager workers who know how to get the job done.

Did we miss your brainy dog on this list? If so, write in and let us know about it!

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