This is me walking with my best friend Hopie. As you might know, Hopie is 13 and has slowly gone blind and deaf over the last two years or so. This change in addition to neurological issues caused by lyme disease made her confused and eventually lead to dementia. She would get lost in her own house and get so upset that she would have panic attacks and have accidents in the house. This was very sad for my parents to see, especially my mom, who has been Hope's best friend since she was 12 years old. Mom and dad decided to get me so that Hopie would have a friend, someone to keep her anchored and mentally present as long as possible. We quickly became best friends, and soon instead of crashing into walls and falling down stairs, Hope started finding me and just resting her nose on my head (you can see a picture of this posted just a few days ago). Her anxiety got better, and the panic attacks stopped. We started walking together on a coupled leash when I got tall enough - mom read an article that said blind dogs often 'hold it' when they are outside because they don't know if it is safe to go, and they end up having accidents in the house, but if they walk with a companion, they smell when the other dog goes and they know it is safe. It worked! Also when we walk together, I help keep her from tripping or getting the leash wrapped around trees. I love my buddy Hopie so much. Mom wanted to share our story because she truly believes in the healing power of dogs, and she wants you to believe in it too.
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