A little girl and her Great Dane therapy dog have developed a very special relationship, and that bond started from the moment they met.
Bella Burton, 11, of Woburn, Massachusetts, does many of the things that your average child does. She goes swimming, rides a bike, and even walks. But Burton wouldn't be able to do many of those things without the help of her Great Dane therapy dog.
You see, Burton has a rare inherited metabolic disorder. She was diagnosed with the disorder when she was just two years old. The disorder, called Morquio Syndrome, is progressive and causes dwarfism and abnormal bone development. This makes it difficult for Burton to walk and do many other activities. Burton is just 42 inches tall, and isn't expected to grow much taller.
But that's where George, Burton's Great Dane therapy dog comes in. George helps Burton to navigate the world, balance herself, and support herself as she walks. Before meeting George, Burton relied solely on a wheelchair and crutches. Now she's growing stronger and becoming more independent.
It seems that George and Burton were meant to be; George picked Burton himself. Burton traveled to the Service Dog Project in Ipswich, Massachusetts, to meet the many Great Danes that they had available as service dogs.
As she moved in among the dogs, most of the dogs ignored her. Except George. George put his paw on her leg. It was love at first sight.
George and Burton have been together for about 20 months now, and they do everything together, including swimming. Though George wasn't initially thrilled with the water, Burton convinced him to go in. George also accompanies Burton to the hospital for treatments and surgeries.
This duo is extremely popular because they are so sweet together. Burton and George have over 20,000 Facebook followers.
George, the 137-pound Great Dane, helps Burton on a daily basis. From supporting her physically to supporting her emotionally, George is everything that a great therapy dog should be.
All images: Bella and George via Facebook