A Wingman With the Power of Joy

a smiling young girl with a yellow lab in a blue service vest sitting next to herHappiness and beaming smiles overflow from the Swierz family’s home – that’s because their incredible daughter, Zoey, has a wingman by her side. His name is Eros, a remarkable service dog whose superpower is joy.    

“Her joy comes from Eros’ goofy personality and his love of being close to Zoey, no matter what,” says Kara, Zoey’s mom. 

Zoey faces the daily impacts of living with a genetic disorder that affects her speech, mobility and social skills. In navigating her daily activities, she requires support and encouragement.  

Before she received Eros from Canine Companions, Zoey had trouble completing tasks, such as going to school, brushing her teeth, walking longer distances and even communicating. Every transition was an uphill battle for the family. 

Fortunately, they turned to Canine Companions and found Eros. “The first time we met Eros, he and Zoey immediately had this bond,” Kara says. “They sat with their noses touching – it was instant. She was so focused on Eros.” 

As her canine partner, Eros inspires her to remain motivated while carrying out daily tasks, such as sitting through mealtimes or getting ready for the day each morning – all by using the over 45 tasks he mastered in professional training at Canine Companions. 

The parents love watching Zoey’s excitement when Eros brings her shoes to her every morning, signaling it’s time to put them on and get ready to go. And the joy she has following him into the car to go to school, reducing the need for continuous reminders and modeling of behaviors.   

Eros brings happiness to the whole family, too. “Joy is definitely one of his superpowers. While he’s Zoey’s wingman, we get to experience the trickle down of that joy through the smile that is always on Zoey’s face now. We all get to meet new people and share the amazing bond between Eros and Zoey.”