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4 Paws For Ability, a nonprofit that provides "task-trained" service dogs to children with disabilities, shared a picture on their Facebook page that has since gone viral. The picture is of Shanna Niehaus, her five-year-old son who has autism, and her son's new service dog, Tornado. In the photo, Niehaus is overcome with emotion, looking at her son bond with the dog—the very first time in his life that the boy had bonded with anyone other than an immediate family member. And when you read Niehaus' description of the image, you will pretty much definitely cry, so go off into a corner if you don't want your co-workers looking at you like you're a lunatic.

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I'm not sure why, but people still ask us why we place service dogs with children sometimes. Let me help you...

Posted by 4 Paws For Ability on Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Niehaus, whose family had been waiting for a service dog for two years (they are Americans currently living in Japan) wrote a long post, sharing how overwhelmed with happiness she was the moment her son leaned back and rested his head on his new dog while playing with a tablet. She explained that her son, whom she "can’t hug, wash, dress, snuggle and touch freely" chose to lean on his new service dog "of his own free will, with a purposeful, unspoken attachment."

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She wrote,

This is the face of a mom who has seen her son experience countless failed social interactions on the playground in an attempt to have a friend. Any friend. Any kind of connection. She has sat with her son while he has cried at night for months because he has no consistent connections outside of the family no matter how hard he tries and no matter what he works hard on in his Autism therapies. It doesn't transfer to the natural occurring world for him. And now she is sitting behind her son silently watching this moment, with the air sucked from her lungs, and no words to say. Holding her mouth and silently crying because she doesn't want to distract him from the moment and break him away from a pure, honest, and truly fulfilling moment for her son-of his own free will. This is truly magic. Words cannot explain it.

I have cried so many times for this boy, but this is the very first time I have cried for a reason like this.

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For Niehaus and many other parents, this picture is worth a thousand words and even more hugs.

You can read Niehaus' full post on 4 Paws For Ability's Facebook page.