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Borderland boy waits nearly 8 years for his dog

Updated: Tuesday, July 16 2013, 09:22 PM MDT

By: Stephanie Guadian

EL PASO, Texas -- John-Dylan is like most boys in Las Cruces. He likes sports, drawing and playing with this dog. He just does it in a wheelchair.

The 11-year-old has muscular dystrophy. His condition qualified him for a Canine Assistants dog. But there were a lot of people in worse condition. And it took nearly eight years for the phone call that finally came this summer. John-Dylan and his father took a trip to Georgia to pick up his dog. It was sort of an audition for John-Dylan.

"They just put us in a room, to see how we interact. And Colonel was the first one that jumped on my lap. They saw him staring in my eyes and they said 'that is your dog,'" said John-Dylan Cully.

Colonel knows some 90 commands. So far, John-Dylan has learned about 22.

"It's just easier for me, a lot easier. Like when I need to pick up something, he just goes over and picks it up and brings is straight to me," said John-Dylan.

Colonel knows how to turn lights on and off, open and close doors and pick things up that John-Dylan cannot. But their relationship is about more than convenience. Colonel is trained to get help should John-Dylan ever need it. His mom believes the dog has built up her son's confidence and broken down barriers.

"Instead of talking to me about John-Dylan, they are more likely to ask John-Dylan the questions: 'Oh, I see you have a dog. What kind of dog is he? Where did you get him? What's his name?'" said Jamie Cully.

"Sometimes they are reading the sign while they are petting him. They are like, 'Oh you are not supposed to pet this dog,'" joked John-Dylan.

John-Dylan starts middle school this year, and Colonel will be at his side.

There are times when Colonel gets to take off his vest and just be a dog. The two can often be found in the family's back yard playing fetch.

It's hard to say who is happier - the boy or his dog. They are so close they even sleep together. One thing is for sure, they will soon need a bigger bed.

If you would like to learn more about this charity, check out their website by clicking here.

Borderland boy waits nearly 8 years for his dog


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