Service dog exceeds paraplegic teen’s wildest dreams
COLLEGE STATION, TX – “He’s a beautiful dog,” says 14-year-old Andy Borden of Webster.
Andy has always wanted a dog and now Endal, a 14-month-old yellow Labrador retriever isn’t a dream, he’s a wish come true granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation and AGS, Aggie Guide Dogs and Service Dogs.
“He’s even better than what I wanted,” says Andy.
Andy’s road to Endal was paved with life-threatening medical issues.
Jason Borden, Andy’s dad explains, “After having back pain for several days, Andy went to bed one night and woke up screaming his legs wouldn’t work and that he couldn’t walk.”
Since that night in July 2012, Andy has survived a spinal surgery to remove a cancerous tumor (that left him a paraplegic), a double lung collapse, a drug induced coma, chemo, radiation and extreme physical therapy.
“You see him how he is now,” says Jason as he holds back tears. “That’s not what he looked like.”
Andy is now cancer-free. His recovery and adjustment to life as a paraplegic will continue with Endal by his side; that is, after the pup completes one more phase of training.
“It sounds cheesy but I’m grateful,” says Andy. “I’m thankful to everyone who donates to the Make a Wish Foundation, to help make wishes like this that make people’s lives complete, who really need it possible.”
This event was just as special for those granting the wish.
“This is a great day because this has never happened before,” says Desiree Davidson of Aggie Guide Dogs and Service Dogs.
The AGS program at Texas A&M doesn’t give their dogs directly to people but in this case, Endal’s trainer made an exception because Make-A-Wish once granted a wish for her brother. This meant the Aggies that have loved and cared for Endal for most of his life, got to meet his new family.
It looks like more than one wish came true.