The Legend of Appa

Written by Gabriel Ainslie, age 7

One fine morning there was this boy/brother named Noah and he… he had autism. Noah is my brother. It’s kinda different having a brother with autism. By kinda different I mean really different than lots of my friends; Noah just can’t control his feelings, and he never mostly never gets/finds peace. 

My brother gets overwhelmed a lot because of him getting anxious. I get anxious about the same things but my brother gets way more anxious than me. Like how he is afraid to leave the house because he thinks something bad might happen. So we bought him a service dog. and he named his service dog Appa.

Appa at 16 weeks.

So a few days—about 2 days—later, we brought Appa home. And he is a white poodle soooo!!! 

A few weeks—about 2 weeks—later… We sent him to Illinois  to his trainer Rex, and Appa is so so so so smart. And Rex is teaching Appa so well and Appa is learning so fast.

Gabriel and Appa cuddling on the couch.

And he is an adorable poodle. But how Appa acts with me is adorable. What he does that is adorable is if I’m hurt, he will give me kisses all over my face, which makes me feel all better. And the games he likes to play are Tag, and Follow the Leader, Chase and Fetch. 

I used to be scared of him, but now I’m not. So cute. And he has a nose that comes out that makes him look sooo!!! cute, and his ears flop down and he is sooo! Cute. I think that Appa will help us in a wonderful way. The end.

Gabriel Ainslie lives in Bloomington, IN with his mother, father, sister and brother. If you would like to support Appa’s training, you can contribute by submitting to one of the Four Paws for Noah writing competitions or donate through their GoFundMe page.

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Shawna is a writer and in Bloomington, IN with an MFA from Indiana University. Her work most frequently addresses issues associated with survivorship. Some of her published writing can be found in The Manifest-Station, HuffPo, Sacred & Subversive, Exit 7, [wherever], and Role Reboot. She writes most regularly on Steemit and her personal site, The Honeyed Quill. Shawna is the creator of #LinkYourLife, the compassion-based community for artists and survivors on Twitter and Facebook. She is Editor-in-Chief for The Relationship Blogger, a site dedicated to mental health, relationships and their intersections. She teaches writing locally as well as online through the Center for Creative Writing.

10 thoughts on “The Legend of Appa

  1. Reblogged this on The Honeyed Quill and commented:

    I can’t think of a better post to help me announce that the Four Paws for Noah writing competitions have an extended deadline to give more writers the opportunity to submit. Two of our competitions also have a $10 optional submission fee. We want to read your work just as much as we want this fundraiser to succeed.

    Here is a personal essay from my child Gabriel about what it’s like to have Noah as a big brother and why Appa is soooo! necessary for all of us. Think that was a typo? Nope. Click through. You’ll understand.


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