Bella Burton was diagnosed with Morquio syndrome about 15 years ago. Morquio syndrome is a genetic condition that affects a child’s bones and spine, organs, and physical abilities, according to Boston Children’s Hospital.
The condition compromised Bella’s ability to walk and required her to use walking aids, which limited her independence. But that all changed when Bella got George.
“I got around on crutches or in a wheelchair and I’m just like, I don’t want to do this anymore,” Bella recalled.
Bella was given a service dog after volunteering with the non-profit organization Service Dog Project for a year.
“One day Bella climbed up with George and she was talking to George and, the next thing you know, his head was in her lap and he was looking at her like she was the best thing in the world,” recalled Megan Kokaras, a trainer with the Service Dog Project.
That’s when Bella and George knew that they would be best buddies for life.
“I could tell he needed me and I needed him,” Bella said. “The first time I walked with George, it was amazing. It was like I haven’t walked in so long. And now it’s like, I can do it again.”
When Bella and her mom Rachel Burton heard about BarkPost’s “Dog Best Day” series, they knew they had to nominate George.
“George deserves Dog’s Best Day because he has changed the life of my daughter,” Rachel said.
Bella says George has allowed her to become more independent than she could have ever been without him.
So, it was very clear to BarkPost that George was the goodest boy who deserved a day off the clock to be fully pampered.
The first stop on George’s big day in Boston was the Copley Plaza Hotel, where the doorman greeted him directly holding the door wide open for him. Then, he met the hotel’s regional vice president, who personally welcomed George and Bella to the hotel.
“On behalf of our K-9 ambassadors, have the best day ever! George, you’re off duty. Go and enjoy Boston!”
The next stop was at Walhburger for a yummy treat. Since George is a service dog, he isn’t allowed to have people food.
But today was “Dog’s Best Day,” so George was treated to about 10 hamburgers served on a platter, which he ate right up.
After that, George and Bella headed out for a fun activity. George absolutely loves the snow, and he and Bella like to go sledding together.
The ski resort shut down the entire lift area so that Bella and George could play.
George was running around and having the time of his life.
After all that playtime, George was ready for a snack. So, it was off to Polka Dog Bakery where he was met with a big welcome sign.
George was like a kid in a candy store, except that he was a dog in a treat store.
“George loves the Dino-bone,” said Bella. “He’s making a big mess on the floor. I think we finally found a George-sized bone.”
When they arrived back at the hotel, George walked into a room filled with balloons with toys in every corner of the room. George even got a big brand new dog bed to sleep in.
George ended up having the best day ever, and Bella was so happy that Geroge was able to get a thank you for all the love and dedication he’s given her over the years.
“George is joyful and he’s always happy and he’s always there to cheer you up,” Bella said. “He’s my best friend.”
It’s been a few years now since George’s best day ever, and he and Bella are still as close as can be. If you’d like to follow their journey, check out their Facebook page.
Learn more about George’s big day in the video below.
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