Alice is a sweet therapy dog who is worth her weight in gold. Read on for more about how she enhances the life of 15-year-old Antonio Reese and why she is now and for always his personal hero.
A Terrible Day in 2015
Antonio Reese was 9 years old on that fateful day when he, his younger brothers and his parents were driving to a family dinner in their SUV along Russell Cave Road in Lexington, Kentucky. Up until then, he was a normal child who loved his friends and playing soccer. Without warning, a man fired five shots into the car, hitting Antonio in the head and changing his life forever. He spent 18 days in a coma and endured five brain surgeries. Almost four years later, doctors created an artificial skull that covers half of his brain. This and a service dog named Alice have given him a part of his life back. (See: Arizona Author Rescued By Service Dog Named Danny.)
According to his mother, Tara Murillo: "Antonio's life as he knew it was taken that day. Alice is Antonio's protector, a "mama bear," who stands in front of him to shield him from whatever is going on. She is his best friend. With Alice, he is able to go to school, and when I am not around, I know Alice has his back and he is safe. Without her, I could lose him. That's a huge thing for me." (See: Chihuahua Named Hook Saves Owner From Oncoming Train.)
Alice And The Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs
In 2016, the Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs of Florida, a non-profit organization founded in 2010 that has donated more than 300 individually trained medical service dogs to those challenged with disabilities, paired Antonio with Alice. She helps him battle seizures, migraines and balance issues every single day. A seizure is particularly dangerous to him and can be fatal due to his artificial skull. Alice is a perpetual source of emotional comfort in a world that doesn't care to understand Anthony and his terrible situation, which is no fault of his own. According once again to Tara Murillo:
"When the family goes out in public, people sometimes see him having a "tantrum" or exhibiting behavior more like that of a 5-year-old than a teenager, we get awful comments sometimes." (See:Three Beavers Comfort And Save Orphaned Boy.)
The American Hero Dog Contest
When Murillo saw some information about the American Hero Dog Contest online, she decided to enter because of all the special things that Alice has done for her family. She wrote: "Alice is a hero in our eyes because without her, Antonio would not be able to do the simple things in life that we all take for granted... She is a loyal and loving hero every day. She has saved Antonio's life many times. If that's not a hero, I don't know what is." (See:Pit Bull Rescues Unconscious Owner From Oncoming Train.)
Alice has been named American Dog Hero at the 2019 American Humane Hero Dog Awards, which are slated for national television on October 21, 2019 on the Hallmark Channel at 8 Pm (EST). These awards were created specifically to honor and celebrate extraordinary acts of heroism performed by ordinary dogs. (See: Kelsey The Retriever Saves Owner From Freezing To Death.)
Well, there's really nothing ordinary about Alice.
Just ask Antonio and his grateful family.
Good job, girl!
See also: Bretagne