Off Beat Stories

Jul 31, 2009 11:03 AM by Bill Folsom

Amputated leg doesn't stop service dog

A service dog's fight with cancer, and the 14 year old boy he helps give us all some lessons on life.
Veren Betzen who has cerebral palsy has to get around in a wheelchair and he has difficulty doing things like holding a cup or feeding himself. He has gotten help for seven years from his service dog, Comet. Last fall the family noticed Comet start limping. Cancer was found in his shoulder and his leg had to be amputated. It was a devastating diagnosis, but Veren remained positive about his friend. "This came up. I would just say okay we just have to deal with this and we can get by."

You now see Comet limping along with just three legs. Comet has slowed down, but rather than signs of needing a break, this companion went right back to helping. According to Veren's mother Verlene, "He's slowly built strength and gone back to doing all of the jobs he was doing before."

Wanting to help his dog, Veren's also gotten stronger. They're now a team.

Comet makes regular visits to the vet and so far there's no sign of the cancer spreading.

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