Bella Burton was just 2 years old when she was diagnosed with Morquio syndrome. After failing to keep up with the growth curve, genetic testing revealed the toddler had the syndrome that would affect the development of her bones and her growth.
Bella had been using crutches or a wheelchair to get around, but according to TODAY her parents felt that the crutches weren’t encouraging her to use her legs enough, as she would rely mostly on her upper body strength. It was 2 years ago that the Burton family took Bella to the Service Dog Project in Ipswich, Massachusetts where she met George, who is now her constant companion.
The Service Dog Project trains Great Danes to help people who have mobility issues, and while they typically place the dogs with adults, they knew Bella was ready for her own service dog immediately.
“Once we saw Bella being around those dogs, how she was always in such a great mood and she loved going there, we thought, ‘What are we waiting for?'” Burton recalled.
“When she was visiting George and he didn’t want her to leave his kennel, they were like, let’s try them.”
George quickly became part of the family, and now escorts Bella everywhere, including to school and to her medical appointments. The family have a facebook page dedicated to Bella and George where they update Bella’s health and her progress, and recently posted a video showing Bella actually running, thanks to her work with her helper George. The page is also dedicated to raising awareness for Morquio Syndrome as well as for the Service Dog Project.
Obviously these two are a match made in heaven, and it’s so wonderful that Bella has found George and he’s made such a positive impact on her life. Take a look at Bella and George in action in the video below.