Dying Boy's Bond With a Dog That Will Break Your Heart

Meet Lucas Hembree. Lucas suffers from a rare, inherited, metabolic disease called Sanfilippo syndrome. There is currently no cure or treatment for this disease. As it progresses, the children affected lose the ability to speak, walk and eat. These poor children can even experience neurological symptoms such as aggressive behavior or hyperactivity. 

 

Because there is nothing doctors can do for him, Lucas isn’t expected to live past the age of 15. It's even possible that he will be in a vegetative state by the age of 8 if his parents aren't careful. 

 

As the disease began to attack Lucas's joints, his parents realized that he might need a service dog. Unfortunately, the family couldn't afford a $15,000 dog and Lucas wasn't a good candidate for an official service dog. That's when the family heard of Juno, a Belgian Malinois dog that was in a shelter, emaciated and about to be put down. The family traveled to the east Tennessee shelter where Juno was being kept and fell in love with her immediately.

 

Meet Lucas Hembree. Lucas suffers from a rare, inherited, metabolic disease called Sanfilippo syndrome. There is currently no cure or treatment for this disease. As it progresses, the children affected lose the ability to speak, walk and eat. These poor children can even experience neurological symptoms such as aggressive behavior or hyperactivity. 

 

Because there is nothing doctors can do for him, Lucas isn’t expected to live past the age of 15. It's even possible that he will be in a vegetative state by the age of 8 if his parents aren't careful. 

 

As the disease began to attack Lucas's joints, his parents realized that he might need a service dog. Unfortunately, the family couldn't afford a $15,000 dog and Lucas wasn't a good candidate for an official service dog. That's when the family heard of Juno, a Belgian Malinois dog that was in a shelter, emaciated and about to be put down. The family traveled to the east Tennessee shelter where Juno was being kept and fell in love with her immediately.

 

 

 



Chester Hembree was familiar with the breed. He used to help train police K-9s and Belgian Malinoises were a popular pick for the job due to their intelligence, dedication and motivation to learn. 



After adopting Juno, Chester wanted to make sure she was familiar with Lucas and the rest of the family before starting official service dog training. However, it seemed that Juno might not need much training! One day, Chester noticed Juno circling Lucas while he was in his wheelchair. After checking Lucas's vitals, Chester realized that his oxygen was very low. Without any training, Juno was able to detect chemical and neurological changes in Lucas - she was a Godsend. 



Now, after getting to know Lucas and a little bit of training, Juno has become what steadies Lucas when walking and a calming influence when he’s agitated. Even when Juno isn't working, she refuses to leave Lucas's side, wanting to be with him no matter what... to the very end!




Source: Courtesy Of The Hembree Family & VetStreet.com

 

If you want to show Lucas your support, visit his Facebook Page!