This is Bella Burton, she was diagnosed with Morquio syndrome at birth. It’s a rare disease that wastes away muscle tissue. It was thought that she would never be able to walk.
In a recent TV documentary titled Dogs With Extraordinary Jobs, the 13-year-old reveals that she has in fact been able to walk AND swim as well as ride a bike and she can’t thank her Great Dane, George enough.
Bella’s mother explains in the show how her daughter already relied on crutches by the age of ten and for her to walk was truly amazing.
She’d only spent six months with George and that’s when she recalled her legs starting to support her own weight again.
“My leg muscles got really weak and it was hard to walk, but once I got George it kind of forced me to walk’
Bella was volunteering at the Service Dog Project in Ipswich, Massachusetts when she first met George.
“When I started to volunteer at the service dog it was just fun because I got to spend time with all of my favourite animals all of the time”
Bella says the dogs did run away from her at first, something she puts down to the high pitched tone in her voice.
George, however, really warmed to her and eventually grew very attached.
“At first he started to run off and then slowly after a while he just stayed. And then I would be brushing him out and he wouldn’t let me leave”
“Like he’d either block the door or try to sit on my lap so that I couldn’t leave.”
The family started bringing the dog home for weekends and it then turned into a full adoption.
Her mom, Rachel, said that George being 130lbs when they took him in was over three times the size of Bella who weighed just 40, and that was a little worrying for her.
“George knew what Bella needed and right when she needed it. If she needed to walk slower, George would slow down so that they could walk right side-by-side”
Doctors were amazed by the improvements to not just Bella’s physical health but mental health too.