If dogs are man’s best friend, then service dogs are our personal guardian angels. These trustworthy and respectable pets have been trained to aid people with traumas and/or disabilities and help them function in everyday life, and the work they do is truly amazing! If you like sobbing internally, then check out these 10 heartwarming stories of the most loyal and helpful service dogs. Get those Kleenex ready!
TORNADO THE DOG HELPED SHANNA’S SON WITH AUTISM
Tornado is the beloved service dog of Shanna Niehaus’ son. He helps him deal with autism’s many challenges while enjoying each other’s company. Shanna’s son doesn’t allow anyone to touch him, which makes normal activities really difficult. He has difficulty forming friendships and any other meaningful relationships outside of the family, so the fact that he laid there with Tornado as soon as he met him was one of the happiest moments of Shanna’s Life. Now, thanks to this new canine companion, she has a renewed hope for her son’s future.
TAXI THE SERVICE DOG ENDED UP GRADUATING WITH HIS OWNER
Taxi is a service dog that has helped Rachel, who suffers from seizures and other disorders, since she was 10 years old. Rachel had been afflicted with this disorder since childbirth, and even lost the ability the eat and speak. After two surgeries at age six, she regained the ability to speak and eat normally. At age 10 she got this lovely companion to help her deal with seizures, and even attended classes with her. After struggling with the school board about Taxi’s presence in the facilities, they finally agreed to let the dog accompany her while finishing her studies, and even graduating together. That’s how this pup ended up in Rachel’s 2014 yearbook.
WALLY HELPED DAN LASKO DEAL WITH PSTD
Dan Lasko, a marine who had returned from combat, was missing a leg and had a bad case of PTSD. He couldn’t concentrate and deal with everyday life, and suffered from recurrent flashbacks and outbursts of fear, anxiety and anger, which prevented him from having a normal, happy life. Wally came into his life and helped him cope with his condition and even with balancing his prosthetic leg. In his own words, he now has “learned to be himself again.”
FIGO SAVED AUDREY’S LIFE
Audrey is legally blind and has Figo, an 8-year-old Golden Retriever, by her side all day, everyday. When they first met, they both hit it off immediately. They’ve been best friends ever since and love each other’s company. On one of their daily walking routines, Figo and Audrey were crossing the street when a minibus headed straight towards them. Figo got in front of his owner and tried to stop her from walking any further. They were both hit by the minibus still, although with less force than they should, and got injured badly. Audrey got some broken ribs, a broken ankle, and some cuts, while Figo got a gash in his right front leg. Thankfully they’re both doing just fine now, and Audrey still remembers Figo’s heroic act.
BELLA AND GEORGE’S FRIENDSHIP IS SIMPLY ONE OF A KIND
George, a great dane service dog, loves Bella to pieces. You can always find him by her side, making her feel accompanied. 11-year-old Bella suffers from Morquio Syndrome, a rare condition that reduces the body’s mobility. Before meeting George, Bella thought she was going to spend the rest of her life on a wheelchair. But ever since she met this incredibly helpful service dog, they’ve been inseparable, and her life really took a turn for the better. She can even ride a bike now! To repay all of George’s hard work, the family decided to treat him to a day full of pampering. He ate burgers, ran around in the snow, played with chewing toys and even got his own room at an expensive hotel! They even filmed to whole thing as a part of a video series called “Dog’s Best Day.”
MARINE VETERAN CHRIS HAD LOST HIS WAY AND HIS FAITHFUL COMPANION
Marine veteran Chris Galliher suffers from PTSD and the only way to cope with life’s hardships and this terrible condition is through the helpful paws of his service dog, Raider. But one day Raider run out of the door of their hotel room, but Chris couldn’t stop him in time. They spent the night looking everywhere. He was frantically panicking and didn’t know what to do. Fortunately Raider beat the odds and was was found at a nearby veterinary hospital where he reunited with his beloved caretaker.
ALBERT AND DOXY THE DOG WERE KICKED OUT OF THE PLANE
Albert Rizzi and his service dog Doxy were the first ones on the plane. But when the canine started to get restless amidst a delay in the flight, a flight attendant decided to kick the owner and dog out. All the other 35 passengers banded together in support of the man, protesting this course of action and demanding the flight attendant was removed instead, unfortunately the pilot decided to cancel the flight. Rizzi then went on to sue the airline for this incident.
PIPPEN THE SERVICE DOG HEARS EVERYTHING AND RELAYS IT TO HER
Jessica suffers from a hearing condition which made her life really difficult. She couldn’t hear the phone, doorbells, and couldn’t tell when dinner was being cooked. She feared she would set the house on fire and couldn’t live her life in peace. She decided to apply for a PAWS Hearing Dog, and received training to handle her new companion. Pippen is her new best friend and helpful guide. He helps her “hear” all the things she couldn’t before. Now she can answer phones, hear the alarm, and she doesn’t burn her meals anymore. They are truly happy together.
MAUI WAS THE FRIEND ASHLEY DIDN’T KNOW SHE NEEDED
Ashley suffers from Dejerine-Sottas syndrome, which caused her to lose sensation and muscle mass, weakening her limbs. When she graduated from high school, she wanted to study on campus, but she couldn’t manage everyday life on her own. With no one in her family to help her, she applied for a service dog. While she was waiting for him, she lived a difficult year in campus alone. She met Maui shortly after that and she says is the best thing that could have happened to her. He helps her everyday with getting out of bed, opening doors, and picking up things from the floor. She says that having a service dog doesn’t mean she depends on him. It’s about you and the dog working together as a team.
JOANNE LOST HER SERVICE DOG AND COULDN’T MOVE ON
Joanne, who suffers from seizures, and Willie, the service dog, were friends and companions for over 12 years. This adorable and sensitive canine helped her calm down when the seizures came about. But then tragedy struck when Willie died of old age. Joanne was simply lost. She struggled a lot and didn’t know what to do, but she toyed with the idea of getting a new best friend. In her eyes, no other dog could ever replace the hole that Willie left in her heart. After some consideration and encouragement from the service dog agency, she decided to meet his successor, Mitchell. Now they’re looking forward to the adventures that lie in front of them and they couldn’t be happier.