Rescue dog is now a service dog to a special little boy

Posted Posted by Carolina in Uncategorized     Comments No comments
Jan
29

The Today Show shared this:        As nearly anyone who has adopted a dog or cat from a shelter can attest, there’s something special about a rescued pet; it’s as if the animal senses he’s been given a second chance at life. That’s certainly the case with Juno, a Belgian Malinois who was rescued from a shelter just days before she was to be euthanized. But since coming to live with her family in Alcoa, Tenn., Juno has taken on the role of rescuer to four-year-old Lucas Hembree.

Lucas suffers from Sanfilippo syndrome, an inherited, metabolic disease caused by the absence or malfunctioning of an enzyme needed to break down long sugar molecules. As the disease progresses, children lose the ability to speak, walk and eat. The disease also causes severe neurological damage that leads to aggressive behavior, hyperactivity and seizures.

“The most catastrophic thing parents hear when they learn their child has this disease is that there’s no cure or treatment available,” says Lucas’ father, Chester.

Unless that changes, Lucas isn’t expected to live past the age of 15 and may be in a vegetative state by the time he is eight. Realizing that every moment is extra precious, Chester and his wife, Jennifer, want their son to experience as much as he can while he still has the capacity to enjoy it.

tdy 120127 vetstreet Juno Lucas cam.grid 6x2 Rescue dog is now a service dog to a special little boy

Courtesy Of The Hembree Family  /  Vetstreet.com

Juno calming Lucas in the hospital during a recent stay.

Prayer and persistence
So when the disease started to take a toll on Lucas’ joints, Chester looked into getting a service dog to keep Lucas steady when he walked. “I was told that a service dog would cost at least $15,000, and that Lucas wasn’t a good candidate because of his deteriorating abilities and his behavior,” Chester says. “I refused to accept this answer.”

Vetstreet.com: Sights, Smells and Sounds That Can Stress Out Your Pet

A combination of prayer and persistence led Chester to Juno. “I came across a posting about her on a rescue group’s website,” he says. “I had the feeling in my gut that I had to go see this dog.”

see the full story here http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/46168614/#.TyWn1eSt0TA
 

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