Touching Milestone: Mom Captures Daughter with Cerebral Palsy Given Puppy as Inspiration to Walk Without Support

Briella Naif, a five-year-old from Michigan who has had spastic diplegic cerebral palsy since the age of 21 months, received a Christmas surprise.

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Cerebral palsy has affected her balance, movement, and leg coordination. But thanks to years of therapy, including physical, occupational, and speech therapy, Briella has made amazing progress in moving and communicating.

And even though speech therapy has helped her form words, she still uses American Sign Language when some words are difficult for her to say.

Briella had been telling her mom, Caroline, that she wanted a dog for a while. When Caroline saw Briella walking with a toy dog during therapy, she understood what she needed to do.

The Naif family made Briella’s dream come true. On November 20, they got an eight-week-old pomsky named Mieka. They surprised Briella, and she laughed happily as she held her new pup on her lap.

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Caroline said, “She had been asking for a dog every day this past year, and she would sign ‘little dog’. Briella needed a companion and an emotional support dog. With all of her hard work in physical therapy programs and watching her take so many independent steps, I knew getting a dog would be so motivating for her.

“I knew on one of the last days of therapy when I watched her walk independently with a little toy dog that we just had to get her a real one. And Briella loves Mieka’s soft fur and her blue eyes. She also loves it when she wags her tail and sticks her tongue out.”

She also explained how cerebral palsy affects Briella’s daily life, causing difficulties in muscle movement, coordination, and balance. But despite these obstacles, Briella’s lively attitude stays unaffected.

“Briella is a happy and smiley five-year-old girl who doesn’t let cerebral palsy stop her,” Caroline said.

Briella and Mieka’s strong bond is a testament to the growing use of animals in therapy. It’s evident that having a real dog like Mieka will be a great source of motivation for Briella during her physical therapy sessions.

Finally She made it…

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Sia

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