Connor Guillet has a new best mate. Her name is Ellie, a foster dog. This kind of story plays out on a regular basis all over the world, but Connor and Ellie share a special bond – they communicate through sign language.
The six year old boy has had a challenging start to life. Adopted as a 4 week old infant, Connor was born with an opiate addiction. His adoptive mother Brandi knew that they would have an uphill battle to overcome Connor’s issues at birth, and he has since been diagnosed with autism, brain damage and DiGeorge Syndrome, a chromosomal disorder.
Connor is non-verbal and communicates via sign language, which made him a perfect match for Ellie – an adopted boxer dog who happens to be deaf. The special bond that the two share is something to behold. Connor is susceptible to uncontrollable fits, and Ellie is the only one who is able to calm them down. “If he’s melting down she licks him and he, 99 percent of the time, stops,” says Brandi. “He’s distracted and his mood instantly lifts with her kisses.”
The two of them met at an animal rescue event, when the Guillet family decided to take Ellie into their home. “There was a trainer there who said she knows sign commands. Connor kissed her face and I knew it was just meant to be.” The family already had an 8 year old boxer, but when they came across another dog who could only communicate via sign language they knew it was meant to be.
Connor and Ellie hit it off from the moment they met, and the two have been inseparable ever since. Connor has found a friend that he can relate to and Ellie has found someone who can communicate with her in the way she understands. The two of them love playing tug of war and chasing each other around the backyward, but their favourite thing in the world is to snuggle up on the couch for warm hugs.
According to mum Brandi “it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.” Just two best mates who understand each other better than anyone else in the world.