For Teenager with Disability, Every Day Is Easier with Her Canine Companion
She also happens to be a Labrador-retriever mix, a sweet-tempered working dog and canine companion to Johanna Benthal, a 15-year-old from Jamesport, N.Y.
Benthal has had more than 60 operations for a congenital brain condition, and Taffy makes her life easier.
"Taffy is always there with me," Benthal told PEOPLEPets.com last night at a Canine Companions for Independence event. "She eases my pain a little more. She has helped me through my toughest times."
Academy Award-winning actress Margaret O'Brien (Meet Me in St. Louis), who helped launch the new CCI initiative in the Northeast region, also attended the event.
"We need to have causes that are dear to our heart," O'Brien said. "I've seen what dogs can do for people and [dogs] change lives. For a young lady like Johanna, [a dog] can make all the difference."
With Taffy's help, Benthal is able to manage her day-to-day tasks, from things as basic as picking something off the floor, to collecting clothes out of the laundry machine, and getting to the doctor's office for an appointment.
"We are really never apart," Benthal said. "She has been great."
Read more about amazing service animals on PEOPLEPets.com:
'Through a Dog's Eyes' Examines Bond Between Service Dogs and Humans
Glenn Close's Passion: Service Dogs for Vets
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