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Conquering the Highest Peak: How Lyza Weisman's Service Dog Will Make Her Feel Whole Again

Updated on April 22, 2012

Humans seek companionship, especially when they are unable to care for themselves. We don’t limit our search for companionship to simply our species. That’s why many of us have they can always be there for us. So imagine how much stronger that bond can become when our daily lives and functions become easier to manage with the help of a loving animal? I’m not just talking about an animal that has been trained by a professional to provide those needs, but also an animal that forms such a strong love bond for you that you cannot do anything else except smile.

Lyza Weisman, a young girl with a major physical aliment, will finally know that love and companionship she’s always wanted…with the kind of help that many of us might take for granted.

On Thursday, April 12, News Channel 5 of Gleenwood Springs, Colorado reported on the progressive disabling condition of 9 year old Weiseman, who suffers from spinal muscular atrophy. In addition, she also suffers from retinitis pigmentosa, which causes serious vision problems due to damage to the retina.

For Weiseman, living a normal way of life is almost impossible . She has been confined to a wheelchair since she was one. In addition, she has trouble performing everyday tasks without help, such as picking objects off the ground or using the bathroom without the aid of bars to keep her from falling.

Hoping to gain more independence, she applied for a service dog through an organization called Canine Assistants. The non-profit company provides service dogs for those with special needs and disabilities, including those suffering from hearing issues and frequent seizures. The organization quotes that training and care for their dogs costs over $20,000, but these costs are not placed on the shoulders of selected applicants. Rather, Canine Assistants seeks sponsors to cover these costs. More information about this organization can be found at the site below:

Canine Assistants

According to the Daily Sentinel, Weisman is receiving her dog from Canine Assistants thanks to the generous donations made by Milk Bone and Sam’s Club. Currently, Weisman’s dog is undergoing training, but she was photographed with one of the trained dogs at Sam’s Club the day the report was released. This was to celebrate Weisman’s selection into the program, making her one of 16 candidates to be chosen to receive the dog.

In a video interview with NewsChannel 5, Weisman expressed a great deal of excitement and joy in receiving her own service dog.

“I love animals, especially dogs. I feel more independent around them and so I’m definitely going to feel more independent around this dog because it’s going to help me be more independent. I can’t even explain how excited I was when I heard because I was so excited. I don’t know how to explain it.”

NewsChannel 5 Video

The dog will help make Wiesman’s life easier by taking care of tasks that she is not able to perform on her own, including picking up objects and turning off light switches.

I’ve seen so many stories of people who are brought down by ailments beyond their control. It’s a heartbreaking tale. We get frustrated over our own bumps and hurdles in our everyday lives. We get irate over an occasional sickness that requires us to visit a doctor that takes money from our wallets and time out of our day. Despite all these issues, many of us still have the ability to walk, to pick up objects from the floor, to go to work in the morning…and to do things on a regular base. Lyza Weisman doesn’t have that luxury.

When people are bound to limited movements and constantly require help with everything they have to do, it becomes really frustrating and stressful. They feel like they are a burden to others and they don’t know how to make themselves productive. They also have the desire and yearning to get better, yet in some of these cases they know they can’t. It’s a serious disability that not only impacts their lifestyle, but their sense of self-worth.

Reading this story about a loving dog and how this animal makes life easier for people like Weisman brings me a real sense of hope and gladness. I’ve watched a number of news reports in the past about what these dogs are capable of doing and it’s astounding! I’ve seen dogs that are able to pull things out of cabinets for their owners. They also have an incredible sense of when something is going wrong even if the owner doesn’t realize it. There have been stories of people who were about to suffer from a seizure, but their dogs would start barking wildly before it happened. This gave the owners the opportunity to call the hospital before the attack incapacitated them.

These dogs can bring so much more, however, than just convenient maid service. They also bring joy to people who feel isolated from the world. What these dogs bring is a strong showing of loyalty and love. They are always excited every time their owner comes home to them, no matter what time of the day it might be.

Even if you may not be in the mood to be around them, dogs will make you change that attitude quickly and you’ll find yourself spending a peaceful afternoon taking them for a walk or playing fetch with them.So to have a dog that comes to your aid whenever you need help is truly a blessing.

These dogs do more for people than just help pick up objects…they also help pick up their spirits. A dog can make someone feel special again, simply because they show how much they love their owner. So how could the owner not show that love in return? When a dog sees someone who is bed ridden or wheel-chair bound, it doesn’t see someone who is unable to be a provider. Rather, these people are viewed by their dogs as someone who needs their companionship and dogs want that kind of companionship in return. They will go to any lengths to receive it from something as big as helping a blind person cross a busy street without getting hit to something as simple as resting its head on your lap. They are capable of learning how to help not because that’s what they are told to do, but their kindhearted spirit drives them to learn to be of help to someone they love.

Most important of all, dogs are born with an endless abundance of love, meaning they will always be there for their owners. These people don’t want to feel like they are being a burden to anyone, and now they have a companion who without words will tell them: “I will never get tired of being with you.”

In the video interview, you see Weisman's enthusiasm for having an animal that will help her be independent. Although she will probably never be able to walk, this dog will give her the legs she needs to do what she wants. It is no surprise she feels like she’s regaining her sense of self-sufficiency! She hasn’t even received her dog yet and already she’s feeling better about her life. Isn’t the idea of rebuilding someone’s sense of self-worth something to cheer about? By having a dog that can rebuild that confidence, Weisman will be able to focus beyond her limitations and find out what she is truly capable of accomplishing in her lifetime.

Wiesmen will live her life as a journey, traveling up the perilous paths of a steep mountain full of twists and turns. However, thanks to these loving companions, people like Wiesman will never again have to face that journey to the mountain’s top alone.


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    • gmaoli profile image

      Gianandrea Maoli 5 years ago from South Carolina

      I appreciate you doing that, Peggy!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      My HP share button is finally working again. I came back to share this wonderful hub with others. Great hub!

    • gmaoli profile image

      Gianandrea Maoli 5 years ago from South Carolina

      Thank you Peggy W! The fact is that love between dogs and humans is, as you said, unconditional. Regardless of your mood and disposition, dogs will be there to make your day a happy one. This I believe is especially true in the case of someone who is physically disabled and can always rely on the help of a friendly and intelligent service to help with their needs. Being a former dog owner myself, I know exactly what you mean you talk about the special bond that people share with their pets. It just makes you feel so good inside to be with someone who will never feel tired of being around you. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      What a wonderful article about a terrific organization that trains service dogs and how one special one will be helping this little girl in her life long quest to become a bit more independent. The love bond between them will also add greatly to the quality of life. I have grown up with family pets and my husband and I have them in our home today so can vouch first-hand as to the unconditional love that they impart and which we share. Many up votes and tweeted.

    • gmaoli profile image

      Gianandrea Maoli 6 years ago from South Carolina

      Thank you for the compliment, Angelme. Dogs have an incredible way of showing their love to you without words. I once owned a Golden Retriever for about 6 years until he sadly passed away. He was always friendly to everyone and loved to swim, but there was thing he did only with me and not with anyone else. Whenever he was in the pool with me, he would occasionally come out and walk behind me if I was leaning against the edge of the pool. Once he did, he always placed his head on one of my shoulders and kept it there for a few minutes. He made me feel so good and loved every time he did that.

    • Angelme566 profile image

      Angelme566 6 years ago

      Dogs are man's bestfriend. They have good souls , they vanishes away our low emotions.

      I super love dogs.They are so cute and sweet like human beings just that verbally they can't communicate but know how to reciprocate love,

      This is a very cute and inspiring story.


    • gmaoli profile image

      Gianandrea Maoli 6 years ago from South Carolina

      They do indeed. They make our lives so much more rich with their love and presence. Thank you for the compliment!

    • JKlosek profile image

      JKlosek 6 years ago

      Dogs add so much to our lives. What an inspiring story.

    • gmaoli profile image

      Gianandrea Maoli 6 years ago from South Carolina

      They are indeed. Maybe that's why they seem so pure and make our lives feel truly blessed. Thank you for stopping by!

    • ziyena profile image

      ECLECTIC PLETHORA 6 years ago from LOST IN TIME

      Canines are not only man's best friend, but they're our Angels as well :)