This Hero Labrador Is Supporting Her Best Friend Through A Serious Illness


It's no secret that dogs have a special way of making us feel better, no matter what the problem.No-one knows this better than Carlo, a 12-year-old boy with a serious illness, whose labrador Lulu helps him through the most difficult of days.Carlo was born with CHARGE syndrome, an illness which has left him deaf since birth and which is slowly taking his sight, too.Carlo lives in Sardinia, Italy with his famil and Lulu, a golden labrador. Lulu was adopted by the family as a puppy, and is trained as a guide dog - although she now does much more than this for Carlo.[caption id="attachment_45679" align="alignnone" width="1074"]

Source: La Stampa[/caption]What Carlo's illness takes from him, Lulu gives him back in enthusiasm and affection.She gives him the energy to react to his surroundings and to communicate with her.As Carlo's illness - which has no cure yet - progresses, Lulu adapts her behaviour and is continuously learning how to best meet his needs.She has also learnt sign language, which Carlo uses to communicate.[caption id="attachment_45676" align="alignnone" width="839"]

Source: La Stampa[/caption]In short, they live together in perfect harmony. Sonia, Carlo's mother, told Italian newspaper La Stampa:

Lulu's done something really extraordinary and her amazing ability to communicate has changed Carlo's life, by offering him constant engagement. Carlo doesn't get out of bed in the morning if Lulu's not there to wake him, and he always looks after her before doing anything else. He makes her breakfast first and then gets his own.

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Source: La Stampa[/caption]Despite Lulu's focus on helping Carlo, she still manages to be close to the other members of the family.Carlo's sister Emma, who helped to train Lulu along with Dr Cocco from the University of Sassari, said:

Lulu makes him happy. He feels loved and protected. Their friendship adds so much to his life, and to ours too.

Living with him 24/7, Lulu learns more about caring for her person every day.When she approaches Carlo, she walks to his side rather than in front of him - because she knows this is the only way he will see her as he loses his sight.Carlo's mother said:

Our four-legged daughter is more fantastic than ever. She follows orders while staying at Carlo's left side and she knows how to recognise obstacles for Carlo and how to guide him around them. If it's a vertical obstacle like a door she stops, and if it's a horizontal obstacle like a step or a pothole, she sits.

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Source: La Stampa[/caption]Sonia said:

We thought for a long time before adopting a dog. The constant coming and going between the house and the hospital seemed like it could be a problem. But Lulu changed our lives; we're calmer now, and Carlo has a better life. She's the best support we could have.

Lulu's loving help shows us that where medicine (for now) can't help us, our furry friends will always be there to lending a helping paw.

Source: La Stampa/Pagina Facebook Ospedale Bambin Gesù