Running, riding bikes and even walking had always been a challenge for 11-year-old Bella Burton due to a rare genetic condition she was diagnosed with when she was 2 and a half. But ever since Bella began leaning on George, a 2-year-old Great Dane whom she met about a year ago through a local organization, she has ditched her wheelchair and crutches, and started to do all the things all the other healthy kids her age can with ease, WCVB reported.
The pair stay by each other’s side throughout the day— Bella’s 44-pound, 43-inch-tall body relying on 131-pound George’s frame to steady her as she holds onto a harness attached to his back, which hovers just below her shoulder. This system helps the fifth-grader navigate her elementary school’s halls. When she’s in class or eating lunch at the cafeteria, George simply rests at her feet, ABC News reported.
Over the past month, media have covered George and Bella’s friendship, which began a year ago, causing their story to go viral.
"I had wheelchairs, walkers, Canadian crutches, regular crutches, and then we got George and I dropped my crutches and started to use him," Bella, of Woburn, Mass., told WCVB.