When Bella met George, something wonderful happened. Not long ago, the 11-year-old with a rare disorder was clinging to crutches. But now she’s walking with the help of a Great Dane who has become her best friend and constant companion.
In her young life so far, Bella has had nine major surgeries, including reconstruction of her hips and feet. She’s also had problems with mobility, getting around on crutches but using them more to swing her legs rather than walking on them. Her parents worried she was losing muscle strength in her lower body, relying on her upper body instead to move.
That all changed when she met George. The Burtons weren’t looking for a service animal, but about two years ago, they heard about the Service Dog Project in Ipswich, Massachusetts, which trains and donates Great Danes for people with balance and mobility issues.