A boy with special needs breaks down in tears as he’s reunited with his service dog after being away at camp.
Jarod Davis, 21, was born with cerebral palsy and congenital heart defect Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) undergoing five open heart surgeries including a transplant.
To help with his condition, his family hoped to match him with a service pup, and worked with a nonprofit called God’s Canine Angels to find a suitable match.
Jarod was matched with Levi, a German Shepherd puppy who they would also help train so Jarod could gain more independence and improve his balance and self-confidence.
Mom and dad Stephanie and John, from Greenville, Virginia, realized the pair formed an instant bond during training, noticing an immediate difference in Jarod with the duo doing everything together.
But when Jarod was going away for Camp Joy, Levi had to stay home as he was still in training – and she was surprised to discover Levi moping about the house looking for Jarod.
Finally, a week later, when it was time for Jarod to return, Stephanie filmed the emotional moment the best buddies were reunited to share with friends and family who keep up to date on what the pair are doing on the page The Adventures of Jarod and Levi.
As Levi realizes Jarod is back, he dashes over to him and jumps up to kiss him, before Jarod falls to the ground with the emotion and Levi excitedly paces around him and gives more kisses.
Mom Stephanie said: “We had no idea that both Jarod and Levi would be so emotional once they were reunited.
“Normally, Service Dogs are always with their human but Jarod is still in the training process and wasn’t ready to handle Levi alone at camp.
“Levi helps Jarod with mobility, safety from wandering, deep pressure therapy as well as learning more tasks as we go, but most importantly he makes him happy.
“Some tasks he will learn will include turning on and off lights, dialing 911 if needed, and medication reminders, just to name a few.
“Service Dogs are working dogs and are considered medical equipment when working – it’s important not to distract them while they are working or they could miss something important.
“Jarod is gaining more independence and confidence by taking on his part of the training and care of Levi, and is generally much happier because he has him by his side.
“They like to hang out together in the yard whether it’s just for a walk or a ride in the scooter, listening to music and watching music videos, and traveling but Jarod can’t wait until much later in training when Levi gets to train to play Wii Bowling.
“We were caught by surprise when Levi paced the floors every night, going in and out of his room looking for him all week, and just looking lost without his boy.
“The reunion between the two made us feel like we had absolutely done the right thing by pursuing a Service Dog for Jarod.
“Because we as a family are part of the training, the bond formed very early, and it’s been evident to us from the beginning, but capturing the reunion on video and watching it again reiterated what we already knew.
“It’s a very comforting feeling to see their bond continue to grow stronger every day.”