Erika Shawvery is the mother of a 3-year-old boy named Caiden. He suffers from a sensory-processing disorder that has impacted his life in a few different ways. One big problem that Shawvery had noticed was that her son couldn't stand being in water.
He had been signed up for swimming lessons, but every time they tried to get him to go into the water he would end up in hysterics. But they finally found a way to make it work. When Caiden met Cori, everything changed.
Cori is a 1-year-old golden Labrador Retriever mix who has been trained as a water rescue dog. Right now, she is working as a "canine assistant" to swimming instructors to help make pools less scary for kids. Shawvery couldn't believe the change she witnessed in her son. He normally had a lot of anxiety about strangers, noises, and being touched, but as soon as Cori was in the water with him he was fine.
“He can get overwhelmed so easily, so I was shocked when I saw how quickly he responded to Cori,” Shawvery said. “He had confidence in the dog, which made him confident in himself and it made him want to swim with Cori. Then he began to trust the teacher because she was helping him be with Cori.”
It only took three sessions with Cori for Caiden to build up the trust he needed in his instructor. Cori wasn't always the superstar swimmer she is now, she's had to go through quite the journey to get to where she is...