It’s true when people say “a dog is a man’s best friend”, and the same holds true for 7-year-old Tristan and his furry companion, Rusty. Join us as Amy Thomas tells her story…

“My name is Amy Thomas and I live in Meridian, Idaho. This photo of my son Tristan and our dog Rusty was taken one afternoon in my backyard this summer.”

“Tristan is seven years old and is working very hard to overcome some challenges that he faces. He had three febrile seizers in two years and the last one occurred when he was three and on the ex-ray table. That resulted in him having some of his brain “reset” and he has had to catch up on his social skills. He has a huge social anxiety that does not allow him to make friends his own age or talk to strangers. He is perfectly normal around people he knows, family and even all the teenagers we have here thanks to Tristan having three much older sisters (15, 18, and 20).”

“When he is around people he knows, you would have no idea how hard we have worked to learn to engage, talk and play. He also has sensory issues that we battle daily. He doesn’t always let us take his picture, so when he does we take a lot. The day this photo was taken he was begging me to take pics of the two of them and trying to pose. The one of rusty kissing Tristan was the final photo after many ones of just Rusty’s nose from trying to get my camera. Tristan was laughing so hard and Rusty just kept looking at him like he had lost it.”

“We treasure those moments when Tristan is just like any other 7-year-old boy out in the backyard enjoying his dog. We have no idea what the future hold for any of us but as a parent my only wish is that my kids are happy and healthy in whatever they choose to do. We will overcome all of these obstacles in our way and my little math bug will soar with his buddy Rusty by his side. I take hundreds, if not thousands of photos a year and each one is special and holds a place in my heart due to the memory they tend to remind us of. My youngest daughter has her own photography business and I think she did that so she could stick a camera in my face like I did when she was little.”

“I would be devastated to every lose any photos. ‘We do not remember the days, We remember the moments'”

There are so many people that can relate to stories like Amy’s. Growing up with the challenges that Tristan faces is not always easy, but something as simple as a four-legged companion can make all the difference.

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