Coco — Service

Location: Springfield, Missouri

Although there are many service dog teams, every handler will brag about their pup as many times as they can. My girl, Coco, was a rescue dog who spent the first part of her life in a neglectful and possibly abusive home. In my sophomore year of high school I adopted her from the humane society with no intentions of her becoming a service dog. However, she began naturally alerting to migraines, low blood pressure, and episodes of allergic reactions. I starting working with her on behaving appropriately on leash and in public (pet friendly) places. Before I had her, I spent most of my time at home, avoiding the public due to panic attacks caused by PTSD. Coco began her public access as a full service dog this past year and has dramatically increased my quality of life. We do everything together and I finally am spending time out of the house. Coco aids in psychiatric alert and response as well as medical alert. Having her with me makes me feel protected from my own illnesses. I’m able to leave the house without the fear of a low blood pressure spell or panic attack. She attends college with me and my grades have improved drastically, as well as my attendance. Though she doesn’t cure my problems, she makes them bearable. She has become the most amazing service dog and gives me my freedom back. Coco and I may not be the most perfect of service dog teams, but she has changed my life in a way I never knew anyone could. One day at a time, we create a life worth living.

Round 3 of voting for the 2020 Hero Dog Awards is now closed. Stay tuned for the announcement on Hallmark Channel in October.