Service dog helping Spruce Grove girl with rare genetic disorder

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A Spruce Grove girl born with a rare genetic disorder is taking strides forward with help from a service dog.

Tyler, 11, has limited cognitive abilities, so she was paired up with Unity two years ago.

“Tyler is the kind of student who would get a little stuck and not want to move, and Unity helps her kind of keep going,” Megan Blum, Unity’s handler, said.

Unity comes from Dogs with Wings, an assistance dog society that connects service dogs with people who need them, for free.

Unity began going to school with Tyler a year after moving in with her, becoming the second service dog at her Spruce Grove school.

“Unity is able to be her friend and really close comfort for her, from home to school to public,” Blum said.

The service dog has helped the 11-year-old become stronger and more independent.

“Now I can go to the grocery store with her,” Tyler’s mother, Christine Myles, said. “I don’t have to worry because I know if Tyler tries to leave, she’s tethered to Unity, and Unity is trained to brace.”

With files from Shanelle Kaul

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