Sienna’s face beamed with excitement as she walked for the first time in years.
But one person seemed more excited – her service dog, Piper, who was really starting to jump for joy.
Cienna, who asked not to use her last name, is disabled and usually uses a wheelchair. Piper is always there for Cienna, ready to help manage her chronic disease. He is trained to detect and alert for hypoglycemia, periodic paralytic attacks, migraines, mast cell responses, and more. He also provides mobility assistance – such as closing doors, picking up items, and pressing obstacle buttons.
After receiving a new treatment, Sienna finally has the strength to take a few steps. Although Piper was trained to control his excitement, when he first saw Cienna walk, he couldn’t control himself.
“We were both so excited!” Cienna told us.
When Piper isn’t working, he likes anything water related. He has been known to jump off boats, jump into showers, play with hoses, chase sprinklers, and even surfboards in the ocean.
Piper has saved Cienna’s life more than she and her service dog trainers from Michigan Service Dogs LLC.
“He knows how to work next to any walker and has been learning ways to alleviate my changing disability,” Cienna said. “He kept me laughing and has been my biggest cheerleader. Without him and his lifesaving work, I wouldn’t be here today.”
Cienna is so grateful to have a service dog snuggled there during her toughest moments, celebrating her greatest victories. While Piper is happy to work with Cienna anywhere or in any capacity, Cienna knows he must be looking forward to what this new therapy will mean for their future.
“I knew he knew it was hard for me to do the things we used to love, like going to the beach, surfboarding, and hiking together,” Cienna said. “I think part of him knows that just these few steps make it easier for us to get these things.”
You can keep up with Cienna and Piper on Instagram.