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Happy Tail: A big black dog is perfect for a boy with Down Syndrome


Dean is a big black dog, and they often get overlooked in shelters,
but not Dean. That’s because the staff at Sulfur
Springs Animal Shelter
in Texas was rooting for
him. When Lexey Sparks of Mt. Vernon, TX, inquired about another dog
she had seen on Petfinder and told shelter staffers her story, they recommended


“I have a now-7-year-old son with Down Syndrome,” she says, “and
I wanted to get a dog that could someday become his companion and
therapy dog.”

Lexey went to the shelter to meet Dean and “after only
a few minutes, I just had this feeling that this was our dog, so I decided to adopt him then and there,” she
says. “That was one of the best decisions I ever made!”

Since the adoption, Dean has been neutered and treated for
heartworm, “but he never lets anything get him down,” Lexey says. “The vet was very
with his attitude and said that he was one of the most well-behaved dogs he has seen in a long time. The vet thinks he is about 3 or 4 years old.”

The family is hoping one day soon Dean will be able to take his
service-dog test. “Our daughter has also become very interested in dog
agility and has been working with him on that — mostly it’s just play
right now though,” Lexey says.

“Dean has been a member of our family for almost a year, and we are so
thankful we could know such a great dog!” she adds. “I honestly can’t express how
much he means to us and how thankful I am to the ladies who e-mailed me
his pics. You have given us so much more than a best friend, playmate
and helper — you have given us an angel with fur!”

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