Michael_1Last Friday night was a spectacular evening for Canine Companions graduate Michael Ferlmann. In front of family, friends, and classmates, Michael was crowned homecoming prince of his junior class. 

Michael, who has autism, attends Gregori High School with Skilled Companion Nina (along with a dog handler). Nina has been a huge social bridge for Michael. Everyone knows Michael, largely because he is the boy with the cool dog.

Michael has another huge influence in his life, his best friend Tyler. They met in PE class their freshman year and have been great friends ever since.

During homecoming week, Tyler posted to social media to vote for Michael and helped Michael_Katiehim compete in the lunchtime games for all the candidates.

On the big night, Michael was thrilled! 

“I have never seen Michael happier. He was so excited, ecstatic even,” says Michael’s mother Sally. “Nina responded like the champ that she is, just another day in the office.”

Sally continues, “My favorite moment was seeing Michael’s face as he won, and seeing Tyler’s face. My 19-year old daughter Katie had tears running down her face, she was so happy for him. This was a moment we never could have imagined, certainly not for a boy with severe autism.”

Michael_Tyler2After Michael was crowned, Sally told Tyler to get a touchdown for Michael. Two minutes later, he did. The announcer said, “That’s Tyler, Michael Ferlmann’s best friend.” A couple minutes later, there was an announcement asking for one of Michael’s parents to go to the announcer’s booth. When Sally arrived, the announcers gave her Tyler’s touchdown ball and said the Gregori team wanted Michael to have it.

What a night! What a team! What a story!

Thank you to the Ferlmann family for sharing it with us.Michael_parents

Congratulations Michael!

For more information on our skilled companion dogs, click here.

3 thoughts on “A Homecoming to Remember

  1. When people say to me “I could never give them up” I have begun telling them how sorry I am for them. For to be even a small part of a story like this one is to be truly blessed and humbled. With Hanford’s turn in but 12 days away it’s nice to be reminded of why we send them off to change the world. Congratulations Michael and Nina and the whole Fermann family. And a tip of the hat to Tyler for being a great friend.

  2. How cool! My neighbor Lee Ann had several CCI dogs. I actually just wrote a wordpress blog on it – we were able to arrange for a potentially big donation to CCI. You can look it up if you search for “Giving back and honoring a memory”. That is the name of my post.

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