Girl Told She May Never Walk Again Proves Everyone Wrong With Help From A Very Special Friend

Anyone who owns a dog can tell you there are few greater feelings in the world than earning a few of their sloppy kisses or gentle nuzzles. Yet dogs can offer so much more than comfort and love. They are man’s best friend, after all!

Bella Burton discovered this firsthand. By most accounts, the little girl wasn’t going to walk any time soon; she suffered from a rare disorder that required her to use a wheelchair or clunky crutches just to get around. She was, understandably, frustrated by her condition. That is, until she met a furry friend who helped her achieve the impossible…

To say life was unfair to 11-year-old Bella Burton of Woburn, Massachusetts, would be an understatement. Diagnosed with Morquio syndrome, Bella was forced to walk on crutches or use a wheelchair to get around.

The syndrome made it impossible for Bella to process certain sugar molecules that acted as lubricants or shock absorbers in her body. As a result, she had decreased mobility and a slew of other nasty symptoms. It affected her mood, too…

Boston Children’s Hospital

“I’m just like, ‘I don’t want this anymore,'” Bella told BarkPost. She couldn’t ride a bike; she couldn’t run. She couldn’t play the way that other kids her age did. Unfortunately, that was only the beginning of Bella’s heartbreaking situation.

Since Morquio syndrome was a progressive disease, it would only get worse as time went by; it was safe to say that Bella wasn’t getting better anytime soon. But then, mercifully, her fortune started to change…

“We had volunteered up at Service Dog Project for a little over a year,” Bella’s mother, Rachel, said. And that was where Bella first met an unlikely pal: a 130-pound Great Dane named George.

Steve and KAte’s Camp / YouTube

“One day Bella climbed up with George,” added Megan Korkaras, a trainer at Service Dog Project. “And the next thing you know, his head was in her lap, and he was just looking up at her like she was the best thing in the whole world.”

BARK / YouTube

Evidently, Bella noticed George’s affection, too. “I could tell he needed me,” Bella said. “And I needed him.” Delighted, the Burton family brought George home for the weekend to test the waters. Soon enough, he became Bella’s full-time service dog—with unbelievable results.

BARK / YouTube

With George, Bella only needed one crutch because the Great Dane himself served as the other! “I lean on him,” Bella explained. “He helps me walk. If I fall, I tell him ‘Brace!’ which means he will stand and won’t even budge, and I can pull myself up.”

BARK / YouTube

This feat wasn’t just visually impressive; it also strengthened Bella’s legs. The service dog even accompanied her to weekly enzyme replacement therapy. Rachel, of course, was delighted at the effect George’s presence was having on her daughter.

“We never thought she would be off crutches,” Rachel said. “And now she will go in the yard and play, even without George. To see how much stronger she’s gotten is awesome.” For Bella, there were no words to describe her feelings to George—but she tried.

People

“He’s always there for me,” she said. “And whenever I’m feeling sad or something, he’s always there. He knows, he just kind of comes over and leans over me… I pretty much love everything about him.”

TODAY

The unlikely duo never left each others’ sides. Even at school, George knew where all of Bella’s classes were and took naps in the back of the room while she sat at her desk! It was easy to see how this fundamentally changed the little girl…

“Bella was never really shy, but [George has] given her more confidence,” Rachel told People magazine. “She feels she fits in better with her peers than when she was on crutches or a wheelchair. She feels more confident about herself.” Naturally, Bella wanted to show her appreciation for her beloved pal.

So, her heart bursting with appreciation for her 130-pound savior, Bella entered George into BarkPost’s “Dog’s Best Day” contest. “George deserves this day,” Bella said, “because he works extremely hard.” But did this big lug stand a chance to win?

 

You betcha! After dubbing him the winner, the online publication rewarded George for his life-changing dedication to Bella. Their celebration of the Great Dane started at an unusual place, too: a burger joint!

BARK / YouTube

“George does not get to have people food because he is a service dog,” Bella said. But on his best day ever, all rules were waived—he got a tray of burgers all to himself! The best part? George’s best day ever was only just beginning!

BARK / YouTube

Next, organizers for George’s best day shut down an entire mountain for him and Bella. Being a playful pup, George went completely nuts, sprinting around in the snow like a madman and skipping beside Bella’s sled. It was hard to believe his day could get better…

BARK / YouTube

Bella and George then visited the canine equivalent of a candy store where George munched on treats and chewed on a bone so large there was no chance it ever belonged to an actual animal. The Great Dane was living a well-earned dream.

BARK / YouTube

“George is joyful,” Bella said of her dog. “And he’s always happy, and he’s always there to cheer you up.” Then, with all the confidence in the world, she added, “George is my best friend.”

BARK / YouTube

This Great Dane gave hope to a little girl who was struggling to enjoy the world around her because of her condition. He even helped make her stronger—both inside and out! Just watch Bella and George’s incredible friendship for yourself…

George’s impact on Bella’s life was immeasurable. It’s incredible to see how dogs can help change the world, one person at a time.

Share Bella and George’s heartwarming story with your friends below!

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