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Young man meets his new canine companion for the first time

Posted at 9:40 AM, Dec 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-06 09:40:03-05

A local mother’s concern for her son's sadness led to an emotional meeting Thursday in Palm City.

Michael Hadley is about to meet his new partner in life and she has four legs and barks.

Furry Friends Ranch in Palm City got a call from Michael's mom, Luky after their family pet died and left Michael depressed.

Luky Hadley says, "She was our family, we had her for fourteen years, and he has been sad."

The college student has cerebral palsy and has never had a service dog.

His mom says, "I've tried it before, twice before. They said it's two years or three years."

But once Furry Friends founder Pat Deshong heard the family's story, she went on a quest to find the funds to make sure Michael didn't have to wait for the best dog and trainer.

Deshong says, "It takes a year of training and approximately $20,000 and a year of training because this is now going to be a wheelchair assisted type of dog."

And a local foundation came through with a big donation. Just days away from Michael's birthday, the perfect pairing.

And a mom who believes it is the best gift ever.

Luky Hadley says, " Michael brings pure joy, he has this spirit and seeing him happy ... I can't even express it ... joy."

The trainer will work with Michael, his family, and the puppy for the next year.

Then she will be sent home to live with Michael. The goal is to make that happen by his next birthday.