This Disabled Little Girl’s New Best Friend Gave Her the Strength to Stand On Her Own

Nov 9, 2015 at 6:26 pm |

‘We All Need Somebody to Lean On’

disabled girl with service dog

Source: Facebook/ Bella and George

Bella Burton’s best friend George is more than three times her size, loves his apples peeled, and supports her whenever she needs a helping hand, or paw. George is a 131-lb. great dane.

Bella was born with  a rare genetic condition called Morquio syndrome which causes abnormal bone development that results in difficulty with moving and limited mobility. As a result, the pre-teen has undergone multiple surgeries to help improve her condition, but she was still unable to walk independently and required the aid of a wheelchair or crutches to get around effectively. But now all of that has changed.

“I lean on him,” said Bella to ABC news about her big-eared buddy. And ever since they met, George has been accompanying Bella almost everywhere she goes.

disabled girl with service dog

Source: Facebook/ Bella and George

George is a service dog trained at Service Dog Project in Massachusetts, and has replaced other, less cuddly, tools Bella has used in the past. “I had wheelchairs, walkers, Canadian crutches, regular crutches and then we got George and I dropped my crutches and started to use him,” Bella said to WCVB.

And these two couldn’t make a cuter pair. Because not only has George helped improve Bella’s mobility, his (ginormous) presence has helped with her morale more than any therapy. George has given her the confidence and ability to run and play on the playground, go to the shopping mall, and a level of independence that she’d never had before.

“Now, I’m running outside and I love to go to school,” says Bella.”With George, she’s become so much stronger and active,” the girl’s mom, Rachel Burton, described to a local news outlet.

disabled girl with service dog

Source: Facebook/ Bella and George

George even recently won an award for his superior canine service to Bella and her family. He’s being honored byt he American Kennel Club with the Award for Canine Excellence, alongside five other pooches, in an official ceremony in December.

You can bet Bella will be standing right by his side.

Follow this adorable due on their Facebook page and then SHARE their story with the people you lean on in your life!

I know this is a short video clip. But I wanted to show everyone how strong Bella is now! We know a lot of it has to do with her helper George. A year ago Bella was on crutches and couldn’t even walk to school today she asked to run home. These are the amazing things that these wonderful dogs from do. Seeing Bella run and ask to race is amazing! So many children with Morquio at Bella’s age are in wheelchairs a lot of the time. But not my girl. She won’t give up. She wants to run, jump and play. Her growth in the last few months has been amazing. Over the weekend 18 puppies were born at service dog project. Hopefully there will be 18 more George’s to help 18 more people have a better life and get stronger. Since SDP is run all by donations we try to do everything we can to help. They donated George to us. They never asked for a dime. They handed over a fully trained wonder dog and all they ask in return is that we try to spread their name and try to fundraiser. We do what we can. Back in June we were able to donate $3200 to SDP from our t-shirts. We know we won’t make $3200 for SDP or 662 shirts this time like we did in May but every $ helps. Who knows where Bella would be physically if it wasn’t for George! We thank allow you for your love and support that you give us! Your words of love and kindness and support. Thank you. Love Bella and George.P.S. The shirt link is

Posted by Bella and George on Monday, September 28, 2015

“Lean on me, when you’re not strong.”