NORTH BRANCH, Minn. (FOX 9) - This Thanksgiving weekend, there's a special dog that marks a milestone for a 12-year-old boy and the organization that's simply trying to help people live normal lives.
Every love story starts with a pair, even if it takes a while to find the perfect match. This is the story of the match between a boy and a dog.
“His name is Abbot and he is a Yellow Lab," explained Aidan.
Abbot is not just any dog, he’s a mobility assistance dog.
"Aidan has Charcot-Marie-Tooth Type 4-C," said Aidan's mother Adrienne Hard. "And CMT is a neuromuscular disorder that affects the muscles, in particular, the lower extremities and his hands."
And that means Aidan can’t do simple things like running or even walking downstairs.
“He just doesn’t have the muscle strength as the rest of us to be able to walk, open doors, you know, open a bottle of water, open the microwave," explained Adrienne. "Things like that."
But it’s those little tasks that are big.
“Living with Abbot has helped tremendously," said Adrienne. "Aidan is able to balance. Abbot is able to help him open doors, open drawers and get socks. It helps us out if we’re helping him get ready in the morning, Abbot can help him get his shoes.”
Abbot and Aidan are more than just a perfect match. It’s a perfect milestone for an organization called "Can Do Canines."
"He is the 700th dog that has become part of a wonderful team since our inception 30 years ago," said Leslie Flowers of Can Do Canines.
“Even 20 years ago, everyone knew what a guide dog was, but nobody knew what a hearing assist or a mobility assist dog, much less an autism assist dog or a seizure response dog was," added Flowers. "And now there are so many dogs out there doing so many different things that it’s becoming much more normal, much more accepted in the community.”
But Abbot fetches more than just shoes and bags; he’s fetched a love story - and he works for just for treats.
“Dogs make a huge difference for so many people on so many levels.”
Can Do Canines has been doing this for 30 years. Abbot is their 700th placement during that time. This year, they've started another 33 teams working together.