For the Love of Dogs

After my husband and I graduated from college, two of our friends from school lived right nearby. We saw Heather and Jonathan practically every weekend during those couple of years. We saw them often even after they had their first child, a son named Cory.

From the time he was a toddler, Cory could draw better than most adults. His artwork was nothing short of incredible. And his favorite subject to draw was his favorite subject to discuss – animals. Cory knew more about reptiles by the age of four than most of us will know in a lifetime.

I kid you not.

Fast forward a decade. Today we live on opposite sides of the country from our old friends, and no longer get to see Cory on a regular basis. However, with a little luck the world will soon be able to follow his story.

You see, Cory has Asperger syndrome, a rare autism spectrum disorder that affects just 1% of children in the U.S. ages 3-17. It is the fastest-growing developmental disability, according to the Autism Society.

He still has a remarkable passion for animals and a mindboggling amount of knowledge about his favorite subject, as is common of many children with Asperger’s.  During one of his many trips to PetSmart to visit the dogs there, a simple friendly conversation ended up turning into a feature story about Cory in their employee magazine.

The National Dog Show in Philadelphia then invited Cory to the event as a special guest. Documentary filmmaker, Tim O’Donnell, followed Heather and Cory to Philadelphia for the show. At the National Dog Show, Cory had the good fortune of meeting renowned commentator David Frei. Impressed by Cory’s wealth of knowledge, Frei invited his young new friend to be his personal guest at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City. Tim documented that experience as well, and the result is a touching story of perspective and courage called, For the Love of Dogs.

The film is becoming an essential educational piece for people who are unfamiliar with Asperger’s Syndrome. Whether you have been touched by someone on the autism spectrum or not, I promise you that this uplifting film can provide both clarity and hope.

For the Love of Dogs has been accepted into the Phoenix Film Festival in early April. It has also been accepted into the Boston International Film Festival and will be shown on April 19th at the Loews Cineplex/AMC. Heather and Tim have also been invited to speak at the 2014 Global Ethics Summit sponsored by The Ethisphere Institute and Thompson Reuters, in New York City on March 20th.

You can see the trailer here:

For the Love of Dogs Movie #beinspired

For more information and to learn about sponsorship opportunities for the film, go to: You can also follow along on Facebook at:

The more people who know about this heartwarming film, the better chances they have of raising the funds needed to keep the project going and get it in front of a broader audience. You can help by posting a link to this page on Facebook, by spreading the word on Twitter, or by making a donation on behalf of the film at

Please, for the love of dogs, consider taking a moment to help Cory, to help the entire Autism community.

Dog Is Good


  1. Claudia Krusch says:

    That’s great! I will be sharing your story!

  2. I have a good friend that is a documentary film maker and I just shared this post with her. I hope she can help in some way or at least point your friends in the right direction. Mika also started a new twitter account for herself, connect w/ her at @edgestartfilms

  3. Documentaries can do so much good and with the topic of Asperger’s I hope it reaches a large audience. I already love Cory! Hope I can see the fi and will share.

  4. Oh my word. I love this story! Cory sounds like an awesome kid! GREAT POST!

  5. I love this story!! Thank you for sharing :)

  6. I have to say, it’s pretty amazing the way God works to get the ball rolling on life projects. Such an amazing story of how this got started. I bet the documentary is beautiful!

  7. I just watched the trailer and it is so heartwarming. Cory is such a lovely child. His unfiltered joy for dogs made me smile. I am so glad him and his family was given this once in a lifetime opportunity!

  8. WOW. What an inspiring story and also amazing vision for the film. Brings the audience from the outside in. Sharing for sure!

  9. This is amazing. Definitely sharing this. Thank you for posting about it!

  10. This film would be a boon for the autism community. Despite the fact that ASD rates are so high there is still such a lack of understanding. This film sounds like it will be both inspiring and enlightening.

  11. Brought out the hankie. Truly. Thank you for sharing and for loving your friends. I have shared with a friend who is a doc filmmaker about autism/disAbility and I want to share on my blog. I am a mother of a daughter with autism. The information from ASA may be dated and I did find some more current stats on their site which confirms the current numbers that the entire spectrum is 1 in 88 (some say 1 in 50)–Centers for Disease Control. And, from what I could find, the percentages of Asperger’s is difficult to determine. This is not mean to be argumentative. :) I’m just a little skittish about the use of the word “rare” in reference to our community. Thank you again for sharing this! I found you through the share post of TypeAParent. I was at the Atlanta conference this year.

    • Thanks, Leisa. I appreciate you sharing the numbers you found, particularly if they are more updated than the ones from the Autism Society. As the parent of a child with a rare disease, I can understand your feeling. (The ASA community is substantially larger than ours.) Just as a side note, this post was also written on Rare Disease Awareness Day!

      I also appreciate you sharing the post with your friend. Thank you so very much for that!

  12. *meant (not mean! ha! Just the opposite is my intent! : / )

  13. Hello again! I think the Nashville Film Festival is still open for submissions. (Or, maybe not.) I have some connections. I am going to send this link. I have also in the past coordinated a film and autism community event at the festival. The unique aspect about this film is that because of dogs, it draws in a whole other community for awareness! Yay. And about that link, I looked again…You know how old stuff on the web is still out there? I looked at the bottom of the page and it’s 2007 data. If you google ASA and look at their current stats, you’ll see the figures I’m talking about. Anyway, again, I’m not trying to make trouble. You seem most lovely! (And, I started this message 1.5 hours ago and just now got back after 3 phone calls! : / )

  14. WOW, what an inspiration!! Thanks for sharing and I am going to share this with my friends and family too!

  15. What a story!

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