This Fantastic Dog Is Helping Her New Sister Fight Through Her Blindness


When 11-year-old Gabby Bustani suddenly lost her sight to a rare genetic disorder, it felt like the end of the world. She had just gotten a scholarship to a competitive soccer team and her friends soon stopped coming to visit, unsure of how to deal with their friend's condition.It was a hard learning curve for the young girl, who is the youngest in her family to be affected by blindness.“She was outside playing in the yard on the Fourth of July, and next thing we knew she couldn’t see," her mother Lisa toldThe Dodo.

Source: Lisa Bustani

But luckily, Gabby soon found a new friend to help her deal with her new life; 1-year-old Saint Bernard, Hannah! Hannah had been rescued from a previous owner who kept her on a chain outside and as soon as the two met each other, they knew that they were perfect for each other.“Their bond was immediate and unbreakable,” Lisa said.Once adopted through the With Love for the Animals organisation, the family quickly discovered that their new dog was perfectly suited to being a service dog, which was ideal as Gabby was still learning to adapt to life without sight.

Source: Lisa Bustani

According to Lisa, Hannah could tell when Gabby was feeling unsteady, standing by her side or between her legs to stop her from falling over and helping her get down the stairs. Because of this, and because Gabby's brother has seizures he will need help detecting, Lisa decided to get her trained professionally while Gabby has surgery to try and improve her eyesight.Not only is the gentle giant helping her new sister physically, but she helps her cope with the emotional side of her disorder, as Lisa explained:

Gabby was in the hospital and was scared, and little by little, her friends started dropping off. When we were home and she’d get upset about it and start crying, Hannah would be right there and I’d hear Gabby say, ‘Hannah, you’re my best friend and you love me no matter what.’ The tears stopped flowing and Gabby’s smile came back because Hannah was there. Hannah has changed everything for our girl.

Source: Lisa Bustani

Although the trainer said he would train Hannah for less than half of what he usually would, with Gabby's medical bills it is still quite a lot. The family have set up a GoFundMe for these expenses, which you can donate to here. With Hannah's help, Gabby will be able to live a life as independently as she possibly can, despite her disorder.

Source: Lisa Bustani

Service animals mean the world to their families and are a priceless help to people in dire need. There are dozens of service dog charities, such as Assistance Dogs UK and Freedom Service Dogs, who help people find the best companions to let them live a normal life. Donate to them if you can!

H/t: The Dodo

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