The special relationship between a sick boy and his dog

La relación especial entre un niño enfermo y su perro

The special relationship between a sick child and his dog Juno. Anyone who has taken a dog or a cat from a shelter can testify that there is something special about a rescued pet, It is as if animals feel that it has been given a second chance in life. This is certainly the case of Juno, a Belgian Malinois that was rescued from a shelter just a few days before they are slaughtered. But from the day that came to live with his family in Alcoa, Tennessee, Juno has assumed the role of Savior of Lucas Hembree, a four-year-old boy.

Lucas suffers from Sanfilippo syndrome, an inherited disorder of metabolism, which makes the body is unable to properly break down long chains of sugar molecules called glycosaminoglycans. As the disease progresses, children lose the ability to speak, walking and eating. The disease also causes a severe neurological damage that leads to aggressive behavior, hyperactivity and convulsions.


“More catastrophic is when we learned that our son's disease has no cure or treatment available”, saith the father of Lucas.

Unless changes, not expected that Lucas live beyond the age of 15 years and may be in a vegetative state at the time that reaches the age of eight. To realize that every moment is precious, Chester and his wife, Jennifer, they seek that your child will experience everything it can while he still has capacity to enjoy life.

So when the disease began to take their toll in the joints of Lucas, Chester felt the idea of acquiring a “assistance dog” to help Luke as he walked. “They told me that a “assistance dog” I would cost at least US $ 15.000, and that the candidate for Lucas was not a guarantee to prevent the deterioration of its capabilities and behavior,” says Chester. “I refused to accept this response.”

Persistence led Chester to find Juno. “I came across a post about it on the web site of a group of rescue”, says. “I had the need to go see this dog.”

The family made the journey two hours to go see Juno, It was a refuge to the East of Tennessee. “He was gaunt, and days be sacrificed”, says Chester. “It was delivered to the shelter because his previous owners didn't understand the Malinois”.

La relación especial entre un niño enfermo y su perro

Fortunately, Chester made. He had come to know and love the race while working as a police officer years earlier. “I used to help in the formation of the police K-9, and our dogs were Belgian Malinoises”, says. “I loved his attitude and his desire to work”. In addition to being a popular choice for police dogs, the race is often used in combat. In fact, It is believed that the dog that helped the Navy SEALs to finish with Osama Bin Laden was a Malinois.

But while race has demonstrated his skill in the patrol and combat, Chester needed to ensure that Juno would be a “assistance dog” suitable for your child. “I put a loose leash and accompanied me”, says Chester. “Then came the test of Lucas. They were immediately, as soul mates.”

The Hembrees brought him home and Juno turned to affection from the first moment. “I wanted to make sure that he would have plenty of time to adapt to the family before the start of the formal training,” says Chester. However, from the outset it seemed there was something instinctive about their relationship. A day, Chester is Juno circling around Lucas while he was in his wheelchair. “I was moaning and pushing Lucas with the nose”, says Chester. “I checked his oxygen levels and they were very low.” After giving oxygen, Lucas returned to normal and Juno greeted him affectionately giving some lametazos.

La relación especial entre un niño enfermo y su perro

“That is when I knew that Juno had the ability of capturing the neurological changes in Lucas”, says Chester. “Now warns us when Lucas is about to suffer a seizure or when their oxygen levels fall too low. He has saved it several times.”

Juno has become a strong support for Lucas, and it has a calming influence when the child is busy. And while Chester ensures that Juno available free time, He said that it was difficult to get Juno deviates from the side of Lucas. “Do not see the one without the other “, says. “It really feels as if its destination ensure Lucas.”

To learn more about Lucas can go to the page of Facebook her father writes from the perspective of Lucas.


Other links: Pet safety guide, Pet Safety in Cars

Photos: Courtesy of the Hembree family

The special relationship between a sick boy and his dog

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