American Shauna Darcy has suffered from depression, anxiety disorder and agoraphobia - a fear of the outdoors - for several years. When she got a pit bull called Ruby, the original plan was for her to be a service dog to help her cope with her disorders and seizures. But later, Ruby proved herself to be much more important.
"When Ruby was trained as a service dog, she would notice changes in my heart rate and she would immediately start acting funny - like giving me a paw, trying to get my attention or climbing on me," says the young woman.
Sensing the frequent changes in heart rhythm to which her dog reacted, Shauna decided to see a doctor. Then she was diagnosed with a rare heart condition - a vascular type of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. From that day on, Ruby had even more responsibilities, which she carried out with impeccable responsibility.
Ruby helps her owner every day - monitoring her heart rate and blood pressure, helping with emergency medication and during panic attacks. She carries grocery bags, picks up fallen objects and retrieves things Shauna can't reach.
While Shauna was in the hospital, Ruby was by her side - she never left her owner's side for a minute. Ruby was naturally allowed to be near Shauna and to sleep in her bed. The faithful dog knew that no matter what happened, she would always help the girl.
All the doctors and patients have come to love Ruby, recognise her and say hello. This miracle dog has won the hearts of everyone around her, but most of all she is grateful to her owner. Now discharged from the hospital, Shauna cannot imagine her life without Ruby. "Without her, I couldn't live," she says.
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