Emma and Service Dog Marcia

Young girl in her wheel chair and her service dogFour years ago, no one could have predicted that a routine car ride would end in an accident, leaving 7-year-old Emma with paralysis and changing her young life. Now 12 years old, Emma, a sweet-spirited, redhead, has learned to navigate life with a disability as fully as possible. She has cultivated a love for art, piano, trombone and gardening in her accessible veggie patch. However, another kind-hearted, redhead – a Canine Companions service dog named Marcia – gives Emma even greater independence and confidence.

“It’s really nice having a service dog,” says Emma. “They can impact your life so much. It feels like having an extra hand helping you. Marcia’s just the sweetest dog I could ever hope to have.”

Together, Emma and Marcia are doing all of the activities Emma loves, with greater confidence and the joy that only a special dog can provide.

Marcia picks up dropped paintbrushes and colored pencils and carries a basket of freshly cut flowers and vegetables back into the house for Emma. Marcia’s ability to tug open doors has given Emma access to her home and garden without relying on her mother to help. It’s easy to see that this duo is a perfect fit and Emma’s independence is blossoming, thanks to a red-haired best friend named Marcia.