This is the touching story of a little girl who is now able to walk again thanks to the help of her best bud, a Great Dane.
Despite expecting to spend her life in a wheelchair because of a rare and degenerative muscle-wasting illness, a teen has described how a Great Dane gave her the strength to walk without crutches.
After six months with George, Bella, whose legs had been fading away, was able to hold her weight.
“My leg muscles got really weak, and it was hard to walk, but once I got George, it kind of forced me to walk,” she explained.
While employed by the Service Dog Project in Ipswich, Massachusetts, Bella, and George were paired together.
She recounts how when she initially started working at the facility that specializes in pairing disabled individuals with Great Danes, the dogs would flee from her.
Bella said: “When I started to volunteer at the service dog, it was just fun because I got to spend time with all of my favorite animals all of the time.”
“It didn’t seem like work, it kind of seemed just like hanging out with all my friends and the animals.”
“I’m an animal person, so I liked all of the dogs, but none of them really liked me. It’s because of my voice, it’s like high pitched.”
After some time, only George would remain in his kennel when Bella arrived.
She continued: “At first he started to run off and then slowly after a while he just stayed. And then I would be brushing him out, and he wouldn’t let me leave.”
“Like he’d either block the door or try to sit on my lap so that I couldn’t leave.”
“Then we started to take him home for weekends and stuff, we’d hang out and play. He’d get used to the family, and then after a while, he became mine.”
George was 130 pounds and Bella only 40 pounds at the time they were partnered, so Rachel was concerned that she wouldn’t be able to handle him.
Rachel said: “George knew what Bella needed and right when she needed it. If she needed to walk slower, George would slow down so that they could walk right side-by-side.”
“If she was having a good day and could walk faster, he would walk faster. He knew what she needed right when she needed.”
Bella’s physicians were shocked by how much her attitude on life and leg definition improved.
The thirteen-year-old said that the Great Dane, who had won an honor for helping her, can be very protective.
Rachel said: “A lot of kids by thirteen with morquio are confined to wheelchairs already. Bella was told she’ll never ride a bike and she was determined to get on a two-wheeler and ride a bike.”
“George likes to stay right nearby, he chases her and runs alongside. He tries to keep up with her wherever she is. We were told she’ll never be able to swim, now watching her out there kicking, diving, doing flips, it’s amazing.”
“The strength she has with George now, her ability to just be a kid is awesome. She likes to prove everyone wrong and do things she’s told she’ll never do.”