“It was so emotional for both of us!”
As Cienna walked for the first time in years, her face shone with excitement.
But there was someone who seemed even more thrilled — her service dog, Piper, who literally began jumping for joy.
Cienna, who asked that her last name not be used, is disabled and usually uses a wheelchair. Piper is always by Cienna’s side, ready to help manage her chronic conditions. He’s trained to detect and alert for low blood sugar, periodic paralysis attacks, migraines, mast cell reactions and more. He also helps with mobility assistance — such as closing doors, picking up items and hitting handicap buttons.
After receiving a new treatment, Cienna eventually gained the strength to take a few steps. Though Piper is trained to keep his excitement in check, when he saw Cienna walking for the first time, he couldn’t contain himself.
“It was so emotional for both of us!” Cienna told The Dodo.
You can watch a video of Piper’s reaction here:
When Piper isn’t working, he loves anything to do with water. He’s known to jump off boats, hop in the shower, play in the hose, go after the sprinkler and even boogie board in the ocean.
Piper has saved Cienna’s life more times than she and her service dog trainer from Michigan Service Dogs LLC can count.
“He knows how to work next to any mobility aid and is always learning ways to mitigate my ever-changing disability,” Cienna said. “He makes me laugh constantly and has always been my biggest cheerleader. I wouldn’t be here today without him and his lifesaving work.”
Cienna is so appreciative to have a service dog who’s there to snuggle during her hardest moments and celebrate during her biggest wins. Though Piper is happy to be with Cienna in any location or capacity, Cienna knows he must be looking forward to what this new treatment could mean for their future.
“I know he knows it’s hard for me to do things we used to love to do, like going to the beach, boogie boarding together and hiking,” Cienna said. “I think part of him knew that just these few steps would make those things so much more accessible to us.”