A touching friendship has formed between a grandfather suffering from Alzheimer's and a little boy.
Doug Cheek, 76, and Royal, four, are both from Los Angeles, and they are now inseparable. The four-year old even calls the grandfather-of-two his "best friend", according to Daily Mail. The adorable duo first met thanks to Royal's mother Laura Luna, 42, who started working as Doug's caretaker two years ago.
Luna, a mother-of-three could not find childcare one day and so brought her then toddler along with her at work. She could not help notice the instant connection between Doug and Royal. Doug's wife Tay, 76, asked Laura to bring Royal to all her shifts.
Laura said: "I think having someone young around has helped Doug as it gives him a sense of responsibility and he loves teaching Royal new things and reading him books." She added that it has been amazing to watch their friendship blossom. They almost speak their own language and even have a secret handshake. According to Luna, the pair loves going to the beach, playing memory card games and reading which is particularly important for Doug as it helps keep his brain stimulated.
The youngster even dreams about living full time with best friend Doug and often asks his mother if they can all move in together. Grandfather-of-two Doug was diagnosed with Alzheimer's five years ago and often gets confused, with some days way more challenging than others, according to Laura.
"Some days are tougher than others, it's not always rainbows and unicorns. When Royal is having a hard day and crying or upset about something it can throw Doug off too," she admitted. She added that she has noticed that when Royal and Doug are having a hard day, they go to the beach and jump in the waves and everyone's mood changes.
Luna says that she is happy to be able to teach her son how important it is to always help others. This experience is teaching little Royal to be compassionate and empathetic. He is much happier and so is Doug. Tay even calls Luna a lifesaver for bringing Royal into their lives.
To follow this unique friendship, go to @adventuresofdougandroyal.