The Austin American-Statesman has posted an article titled “Princess Fiona can’t use her hindquarters, but she can help kids with autism make big strides” by Pamela LeBlanc. The story is about Liz Sawyers-Robles and her first Cane Corso rescue, Fiona.

Here is a small excerpt:

“When Fiona got here, her life was filled with doctors’ visits. She saw a chiropractor, had acupuncture and exercised on an underwater treadmill. Sawyers-Roblesdraped Fiona over an exercise ball, placing her front paws on the ground to strengthen her muscles. She rigged her in a contraption made of PVC pipes and a harness so she could strengthen her rear legs. The bills mounted, surpassing $10,000.

Originally, the couple planned to place her in an adoptive home. Soon, though, Fiona had a permanent place in their home. As Sawyers-Robles watched her special-needs puppy struggle, she thought of the patients she counsels at KidVentures Therapy. She decided to bring the dog to the office.

“I was hoping there would be a connection,” Sawyers-Robles says. “There was an immediate click. Even though (the kids) don’t have the words to tell us, most of them know they’re different. And Fiona is different, too. They relate to her on some level.” … “

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Using a wheelchair from Doggon’ Wheels, Fiona is able to walk on the hike and bike trail with Sawyers-Robles.

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Sawyers-Robles works with one of her clients, Grace, while Fiona waits for treats during the session. Photos by Kelly West AUSTIN STATESMAN