Any pet owner knows how helpful it is to have a dog around the house. Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated that owning a dog — or any pet really — can help people live longer, as pets greatly reduce stress. Therapy dogs are used in hospitals around the world to bring a little joy and comfort to those who need it most.
For those with disabilities, or at least different abilities, service dogs can do an incredible amount of good for their owner’s mental and physical well-being. Seeing eye dogs are relatively common nowadays, but dogs are also now being trained to help people in wheelchairs live an easier, more functional life.
Deborah Cornwall of Lancashire, England always lived an incredibly active life. She loved sports, and even taught physical education at a nearby elementary school. But in 1981, a horrible climbing accident left Deborah’s spine severely damaged. Though she attempted to relearn to walk and tried using canes, the injury was too severe, leaving her in a wheelchair for the rest of her life.
After she retired, Deborah found it a little harder to do a few of her daily activities, so she and her husband decided to get a new puppy and train it as a service dog with the assistance of Dog Aid.
Deborah and her husband chose Basil the bichon frise, and he has changed their lives! This incredible super-dog has been trained to do a variety of chores for Deborah as he assists her around the house and even in the supermarket.
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h/t: The Daily Mail
The dog is only six months old, but he's already been trained to do hundreds of activities to help Deborah out around the house. Basil even knows how to get the mail and can retrieve dozens of other items on command.
Deborah says that she has a newfound confidence thanks to Basil. Before having a service dog, people would be intimidated to talk to her because of her wheelchair. Now, people love to approach her to talk about her dog.
One of Basil's favorite chores is loading and emptying the washing machine on command.
He knows how to retrieve items without getting them wet from slobber, which helps to save Deborah from overexertion.
One time, Deborah was in the garage and had quite a fall. With Basil's help, she was able to write a note, which the pup delivered to Deborah's husband to notify him. Without Basil's help, she might have been stuck in the garage for hours.
Basil has also been trained to pick up items that Deborah drops and to retrieve items that are too low for her to grab.
Basil's small stature allows him to get into places that are inaccessible to Deborah's wheelchair.
Deborah even takes him shopping so that he can grab items that she can't reach.
Even though he's barely older than a puppy, Deborah insists he's an incredibly obedient and well-behaved dog.
When Deborah had her injury, she was devastated to learn she'd never walk again. Life has never been the same for her. As she gets older, Basil will be there for her, ready to help out with whatever she needs.
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