It’s not been an easy 18 months for Memphis Rose Hamman, a courageous 8-year-old who was involved in a car accident in June 2020 that left her with a punctured lung, fractured and displaced neck, and a severely fractured spine.
But thanks to an almost 2-year-old Golden Retriever service dog named Juliet, Memphis Rose is slowly regaining her confidence and the close bond between the pair has been there since day one.
Memphis Rose was connected with Juliet through Lori Griffith, the founder of the Chasin’ A Dream Foundation, which assists children with life-threatening diseases. She reached out to her contacts at the Furry Friends Adoption Clinic and Ranch who let her know that they’d just received Juliet, a dog they felt could be trained to assist Memphis Rose and help her adapt to her paralysis.
Juliet has received daily training over the past year, made possible by a $25,000 grant from the Leeds Endowment, a Florida-based nonprofit that helps disabled people lead healthy and independent lives.
"Memphis Rose is a strong little girl, and we are glad to have been able to provide the means for Juliet to learn to be her service dog," Danielle Ford, Leeds cofounder, told PEOPLE magazine.
While Memphis Rose and Juliet have been meeting up regularly for day trips since her accident, it’s only in recent days that the pair have finally moved in together, and Juliet’s trainer, Summit Earhart, says things couldn’t be going better.
"Juliet has learned how to open doors, bring Memphis things, go get her mother if needed in a variety of situations, and apply deep pressure therapy to calm Memphis who has frequent bouts of anxiety over her situation."
Although the pair only saw each other a few times a month over the year that Juliet was undergoing training, Earhart said the bond between them is a strong and enduring one.
"Juliet is a great dog, just awesome," says Earhart, who was there for the reunion. "She and Memphis Rose make a perfect team. Juliet is soft and comforting and takes her work seriously. She loves Memphis Rose and knows that her job is to help her."
While Memphis Rose has a long road ahead of her and may never recover from her spinal injury, her mother Gayrene Meade is in awe of her. "She always has a smile on her face. Memphis Rose impresses me every single day with her strength."
And with her best friend Juliet by her side, Memphis Rose will have the companionship and love she needs to learn to live independently. “You could not ask for a better team than these two,” Earhart says.
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Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.