Meet Misty, the assistance dog helping to change young Ryan’s life

Bournemouth Echo: Monty the dog with Jenny Clark from Woofability, Ryan Skinner with his assistance dog Misty and shopping centre administrator Lisa King. Centre manager Jon Grinnell sits at the front Monty the dog with Jenny Clark from Woofability, Ryan Skinner with his assistance dog Misty and shopping centre administrator Lisa King. Centre manager Jon Grinnell sits at the front

AN ASSISTANCE dog who was named by the Dolphin Shopping Centre has been partnered with an 11-year-old from Moordown.

Misty was officially named by the management team at the centre when she was brought in aged just eight weeks old by local charity, Woofability, to help raise awareness of their work training assistance dogs for the disabled.

Now, thanks to two years of learning basic commands, socialising with people in schools, offices and care homes, and tackling new tasks, Misty has found a home with Ryan Skinner, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

The condition is a recessive form of muscular dystrophy affecting one in 3,600 boys, which results in muscle degeneration, meaning that an assistance dog will make a ‘life-changing’ difference to Ryan.

Jenny Clark from Woofability, said: “By the time our dogs have reached the age of two, most have learned all of their tasks, but can still be puppies at heart.

She added: “Misty and Ryan’s relationship has been life changing and they both adore each other. Misty has learnt to pick up and return anything that Ryan drops, she presses the door entry and traffic light buttons and lots more.

“Everything is done as a game and Misty simply loves to please Ryan.”

John Grinnell, Dolphin centre manager, said: “We were delighted to name Misty, who is a bright, intelligent dog, and we were thrilled to hear that she has been partnered with Ryan.

“Woofability is a fantastic charity and we appreciate hearing the latest updates on Misty’s progress.”

Go to www.woofability.com for more information.

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