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Autistic Yuba City Boy Benefits From Canine Companion

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YUBA CITY (CBS13) – When Reeve Basile gets anxious he has dangerously run across Highway 99 on many occasions. His new buddy will help keep him out of harm’s way.

His mom wants people to know Reeve has a beautiful mind.

“The kid is amazing. His mind is amazing,” Chris Basile says.

It’s evident when he’s calm with his mom.

“I enjoy it. I’m raising my son,” she says. “But it is extremely exhausting you sleep with one eye open.”

That’s because Chris’ 5-year-old autistic son tends to take off.

“He goes in his spurts,” she says. “He’ll have his running phase, he’ll have his hitting phase, his anxiety phase.”

And apparently he likes to cook. He recently popped his mom’s cell phone in the microwave.

“We have to kill the power in the kitchen so we can sleep at night,” she says.

But when Reeve’s new pal walks in, his focus stays on the four-legged furry one. Theses service dogs from the Pawsitive Service Dog Solutions out of Olivehurst are training to keep autistic kids calm.

“A lot of people don’t see their disability and can be very judgmental,” said Pawsitive’s Carmel Mooney.

But once they see the service dogs, people often have more sympathy. Mooney founded this non-profit after a service dog helped quiet her girl, who used to bolt nearly every hour.

“You could have the death grip on her and she would run out from both of us,” Carmel says.

Each dog takes about nine months to train. The Basiles need $8,000 so they can call “Chaz” their own. Mooney’s group helps with fundraisers.

“The dog will shadow Reeve everywhere,” Chris says. “He goes in the kitchen, the dog goes with him. He goes on the bus, the dog goes on the bus.”

Reeve is only 5, but what about his future? Will he get through life safely? His mom struggles with the stress daily, but Chaz is now giving her and Reeve that much-needed sense of comfort.

There are four other dogs being trained and nine kids on the waiting list. Families are calling every day hoping for a service dog, so the puppy raisers are also crucial to this program.

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