Anthony's Story: A Common Bond

This story was first printed in the Winter 2012 issue of Sunshine Magazine.

Lee Davis with Anthony and Dee

When Anthony came to live at Methodist Children’s Home in 2007, he needed consistency and a father figure in his life. His mother was a young teen when she gave birth to Anthony, so he often lived with relatives during his childhood.

In addition to changing homes, Anthony felt responsible for helping to raise his three younger brothers. At 13, Anthony did not have a good relationship with his mother, and he carried burdens that many teens do not share.

Due to family conflict and the need for a stable environment, MCH became Anthony’s temporary home. Adjustment to life at MCH was difficult for Anthony at first.

“I didn’t get along with anyone in my first home unit, and I struggled with living on campus,” Anthony said.

But eventually, Anthony found a staff member who had many of the same interests as him. Lee Davis, a youth care counselor supervisor on the Waco campus, trains hunting and therapy dogs as a hobby. According to Anthony, he was outside his home unit one day when he saw Davis working with his dogs.

“When Anthony approached me, I asked him if he would be interested in learning about training dogs,” Davis said. “He hooked into the idea after I took him to a few hunt tests.”

Beyond participating in hunt tests together, Anthony and Davis developed a close relationship. Because Anthony worked well with Davis, he was moved to Davis’ home unit in 2008.

Anthony found his niche on campus as he discovered an interest that he was excited about, which helped him change in more ways than he could have expected.

“Training dogs gives me patience in many different areas,” Anthony said.

Davis agrees.

“It takes a lot of consistency and self-discipline to train a dog,” Davis said. “Those are qualities Anthony needed to improve.”

Continuing to train dogs and participate in hunt tests with Davis has also helped Anthony build trust with Davis and have confidence in relationships.

“Anthony is working on re-building relationships with his family,” Davis said. “Being at MCH has helped him learn how to develop strong relationships.”

According to Anthony, he hopes to reconnect with his mother after he graduates high school.

“I’ve never had a relationship with my mom,” Anthony said. “Now we’re working on building one.”

While Anthony looks forward to returning home soon, he is also thankful for the relationships he has built while he has been at MCH. Davis returns the sentiment.

“Since I don’t have any children of my own, working at MCH gives me an opportunity to experience what the parent-child relationship is like,” Davis said. “Anthony and I have our ups and downs, but he will always be like a son to me.”

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