Bella Burton from Woburn, Massachusetts, was born with a rare genetic disease called Morquio syndrome. The disease affected the development of the little girl’s bone and spine. It’s also possible for Bella to have issues with her vision and heart problems.
Because of her condition, Bella used crutches or a wheelchair to be able to move around. She wanted to move but the use of crutches and wheelchair was hard for her to the point that she even said: “I can’t do this anymore.”
After meeting a family with a service dog, Bella’s family considered getting a mobility dog for her. They got in touch with the Service Dog Project in Massachusetts. The Service Dog Project trains mobility service dogs. According to Rachel Burton, Bella’s mother, they had volunteered for over a year in the Service Dog Project before they finally got George, a Great Dane weighing 137 lbs.
One head trainer at the Service Dog Project, Megan Kokaras, said that Bella and George were meant for each other. She said Bella often visited the property but no dog actually paid attention to her; until one day, the little girl went to George’s loft and the dog looked at her like she was the best thing in the whole world.
The Great Dane didn’t want her to leave. She added that there was an instant connection between the two. Bella said that she knew that George needed her and she needed him, too. George came home to live with the Burtons in January 2015.
Since George came to her life, Bella’s life has changed. She was able to ride a bike, go sledding in the snow, and walk around with George’s assistance.
Bella said that George has “made her more independent that she ever could be.” More than just protecting Bella and assisting her, George actually made her dream of walking again come true.
The bond between the two is so strong that even up to now, the Great Dane sleeps next to Bella and accompanies her to the hospital during surgeries or check ups.
Thousands were inspired by Bella and George that the pair has more than 26,000 followers on their Facebook page, all wanting to know more about them and checking for updates on their story.
Morquio syndrome is a progressive disease, that’s why Bella needs to be continuously monitored and taken care of, but she is a strong girl who chooses to fight and tries to live her life as a normal child would – and George, her Great Dane with a great heart, stays at her side to make sure that happens.
Wanting to make George know how special he is to Bella and her family, they have teamed up with BarkPost to give George his best day ever!