Linda the yellow Labrador is more than man’s best friend — she’s the service dog, companion, and aide of a Florida elementary school student named Rachel who lives with spina bifida. The birth defect affects the 11-year-old’s spinal cord and spine, which means she must often rely on Linda to pick things up for her.
Linda attended school with Rachel once or twice a week this past year, becoming a beloved part of both Rachel’s classroom and the Orange City Elementary School community at large: “If we could all have a service dog in our classrooms! I mean — it’s amazing the changes that I have seen in my students and how it’s brought us all together as a family,” Ashley Desmond, Rachel’s fifth-grade teacher, told Fox 13.
According to Rachel’s mom, Heidi Race, Linda was a great source of comfort for all of Rachel’s classmates, especially during exams.
“She will be there to help with tests when the kids start to get a little anxious or nervous,” Heidi explained. “She picks up on it — and she’ll go over and the kid will pet her, give her some love. It gives them a break to calm down.
Linda was so adored by the school’s students and faculty alike that she was honored with a special — not to mention adorable — tribute at the end of the school year: She received her own picture in Orange City Elementary’s yearbook as well as a faculty badge and plaque in recognition of her hard work.
See what Rachel has to say about this Very Good Girl…
Due to restrictions, this video cannot
be viewed in your region.