Just how valuable is the life of an animal? Some people would answer, “Not very valuable at all.”
They’re wrong, of course. Pets provide companionship and lift people’s hearts all over the globe.
They also provide lifesaving services. For one girl from Quinlan, Texas, a dog stood between her and death.
According to KTRK-TV, 12-year-old Hannah Westmoreland could live a normal life thanks to her golden retriever, Journey. See, Hannah has type 1 diabetes.
Journey was specially trained to give Hannah a little bump whenever the girl’s insulin levels dipped too low. That kept her from inadvertently slipping into a coma.
But one day, someone did something unthinkable: A random stranger shot Journey in the Westmoreland’s front yard.
“He was breathing really hard and his gums were white, then he laid his head on my lap,” Hannah said. “I just went over there and kissed him on the head and told him everything was going to be OK.”
Tragically, Journey passed away a short time later.
In addition to the obvious emotion price of Journey’s death, the loss of the pooch carried a monetary cost, too. Hannah’s community had raised $10,000 for the purchase of the specially trained dog, KDFW reported.
At the time, Hannah’s mother, Tina, had said, “It was God ordained. God’s hand was in it from the beginning.”
“We’re just heartbroken. People wanting to hear (Hannah’s) story has been the only thing to stop her crying,” she added.
Fortunately, the publicity around the case led to an amazing outcome. Former Dallas Cowboy tight end Jay Novacek donated a new service puppy to the young girl, according to Inside Edition.
The Novaceks are no strangers to how valuable these animals can be. Amy Novacek relied on a service dog after surviving a terrible car crash.
The arrival of Joey, Hannah’s new Labradoodle poodle, has done more than just ensure the presence of a new service animal. It has also helped heal the young girl’s heart.
“(Hannah) is a momma hen,” Tina said. “She just takes good care of him. He’s just a puppy, so it’s house-training and shots and puppy cries right now.”
Joey has a lot of training ahead of him before he can become a proper service dog, but the foundation of a beautiful relationship has already been laid.