12-Year Old Girl Walks Again Thanks to Her Dog George
She was unable to do almost anything on her own and was dependent on others. But then she met George, a Great Dane who was assigned to the Service Dog Project. With her new friend, the little girl’s life would never be the same again.
Bella and her dog George
Because of her illness, Bella could not walk. Her disease causes abnormal bone development, a bell-shaped thorax, short stature and X-shaped legs. Doctors advised her to either use crutches or a wheelchair.
But George helps her walk. She no longer need crutches or a wheelchair! Bella reports that she had to rely on wheelchairs, walkers, and crutches but then she stopped using the crutches and started using George.
Rachel Burton, the girl’s mother, confirmed this. She says that w ith George, she has gotten much stronger and has been more active. George is a very calm dog, walking next to Bella and doing whatever she says.
The Great Dane is one of five dogs that will receive an award for having significantly impacted the lives of their owners and the people in their communities.
Bella’s Progressive Recovery
Bella has stopped using her crutches and is already independent enough to walk. She can go to school, back home, shopping in the mall, etc. Her mood and personality have changed so much; she now has the independence and joy she so needed.
Assistance dogs are trained to assist people with physical disabilities or mobility problems, including wheelchair dependence.
A few things they do are provide balance and stability, pull wheelchairs, push small trolleys and retrieve objects. An assistance dog can be trained to open and close doors, and to use light switches.
With this help, they often make a huge impact on their owner’s life. A ssistance dogs usually wear some type of vest so that a harness can be attached as a handle. When the dog walks, the person holds the handle and the dog provides assistance and balance.
Larger dogs are taught to push wheelchairs with a special harness. Usually it’s for short, straight stretches, like a crosswalk. The person can then operate his or her wheelchair with less effort. Note that this assistance is prohibited in certain countries.
Another type of aid is assistance walking. People with Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, for example, rely on this support. The dogs don’t carry the person’s full weight, but they do help guide the person’s steps and provide balance. They use a counterweight technique. Assistance dogs also serve people unable to walk in a straight line.
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