Hooray LuLu and Zuke!

child lying down with Canine Companions service dog

LuLu and her assistance dog Zuke are an amazing team!

LuLu is a smart, vivacious 7-year-old who needs to stay active and exercise to help manage the progression of two rare genetic conditions. Skilled Companion Zuke is an expertly-trained assistance dog who helps LuLu move more and participate in the activities she enjoys most.

LuLu’s parents, Marko and Marianne, share, “Zuke is a great motivator and encourages Lulu to run – they love chasing each other around the house.”

Because LuLu uses leg braces, it can be more difficult for her to engage in the activities she loves like art, swimming and dance. Now with Zuke by her side, LuLu can enjoy her hobbies and experience a fuller, more independent life.

What Zuke can do

As part of his professional training, Zuke knows over 40 commands. LuLu says, “Zuke, cover!” and Zuke will lay on her with a deep calming pressure to soothe frayed emotions. When it’s time to brush Zuke’s teeth or fur, LuLu says, “Zuke, down!” This type of interaction provides opportunities for LuLu to work on her dexterity and motor-skills.

Beyond Zuke’s highly-trained commands, the family is noticing other benefits, too. “Zuke serves as a companion and social bridge to LuLu’s peers. They no longer just see a girl with leg braces who walks differently,” explains Marko.

Matches like LuLu and Zuke mean there will be more smiles, more fun and more friends!

Zuke was provided to LuLu and her parents free of charge thanks to generous donors and volunteers. Canine Companions will continue to support the family throughout the lifetime of the match.