Gradually losing your hearing is more terrifying than most people realize; it’s more than just a communication hurdle. Initially, you’re able to hear someone when they’re walking behind you or knocking on a door, but then one day you’re stripped of that ability, that sense. Suddenly, you’re forced to keep glancing over your shoulder. You’re never entirely sure who or what is in your vicinity. Your confidence to carry out everyday tasks slowly slips away.
That situation is all too familiar to Emily Huneycutt, a 10-year-old South Carolina girl who has a genetic disorder that’s caused her hearing to deteriorate over time. It’s affected her world for the worse, not to mention her self-confidence. She’s afraid to do anything alone, even go to the bathroom.
That all changed recently when Emily’s mom, Angel Huneycutt, invited her into her room to peek inside a pink plastic bin filled with her “clothes.” When Emily uncovered the bin, she discovered that it wasn’t filled with shirts or pants but her first therapy dog: a 3-year-old Yorkie named Piper.
Angel told Inside Edition that Emily’s confidence has made a comeback with the help of her furry friend: “Now, if someone knocks or Piper hears any strange noise, she will bark,” she explained. “Which in turn makes Emily feel safe and more secure. It’s like Piper is her ears.”
Keep scrolling to see a video of the emotional moment Emily first met Piper — oh, and make sure you’ve got a box of tissues handy…
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