They say that a dog is man's best friend. But Byron is woman's best
friend. That woman is Kate Cross of Leicestershire, England. Byron is
her personal care provider. He helps her do the laundry, make the bed,
post the mail, help in the kitchen, and many other chores. Not the least
among his many amazing talents is his ability to love Cross
Cross, 49, suffers from Ehlers Danlos syndrome, a disease which leaves her joints so weak that she could dislocate her shoulder just opening a door. That is why the former teacher needs help 24/7 to take care of some very simple tasks. The yellow Labrador retriever can reach items on low store shelves that Cross can't and knows what item to get by just following her line sight. He can even get cash from the ATM. One of the most important things he can do is let himself out for a quick potty and back in again.
The caring canine is there for her every step of the day from helping her from her bed into her wheelchair every morning. He is also a great source of emotional, as well as physical, support.
Before Byron came into her life she had been virtually house-bound for 18 months after a group of unruly young men playing football (soccer) decided to use her wheelchair as a practice target. The incident had unnerved her so much that she became terrified of going out. With Byron in her life things have returned to a state much closer to normal for her.
Byron came to Cross through the Sussex-based group Canine Partners, a charity that provides assistance dogs to people in need. The two clicked immediately and went through training together so that Byron would have a complete understanding of all of the things he would need to be able to do for her.
Cross can't imagine life without Byron now. Even her husband, Stuart, rests a little easier knowing that she is not alone. If an emergency arises, Byron can fetch the phone so that Cross can dial for help. They also make sure that Byron has time to just be a dog, running around the park getting covered in mud. He is truly an important and integral part of their family.