How a Service Dog Improved This Hemophiliac’s Life

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by Wendy Henderson |

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Bob Byrne from Northern California has severe hemophilia A. As a result of bad bleeds when he was younger, Byrne now suffers from arthritis and finds getting around difficult. Without anyone who can offer him care on a daily basis, he decided to get a service dog.

MORE: 10 benefits of having a service dog if you have hemophilia

According to a report in Hemaware, Byrne’s golden retriever Vladimir is constantly by his side. Vladimir can respond to more than 90 commands; he fetches clothes out of drawers, opens the fridge door, switches lights on and off, and even helps with the shopping by handing the cashier Byrne’s credit card. Because Byrne has pain in his ankles and knees, he finds it difficult to climb stairs and step on and off sidewalks. Vladimir acts as a cane, offering support so Byrne can better maneuver his body.

Byrne explains that aside from the practical help he gets from Vladimir, having a service dog has made him feel less isolated and has improved his sense of of well-being.

MORE: Five tips for healthy living with hemophilia

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