12-year U.S. Army veteran Nicholas Bailey is calling 8-year-old Rachel Mennett a “hero” whom he thought would never “show any interest” in him or his service dog.
After serving two tours in Iraq, Nicholas Bailey, who suffers from PTSD, wanted a dog to help him cope with his nightmares and mobility issues.
Then he met a German Shepherd named Abel.
“In the middle of the night when Nick was having a nightmare, Abel wakes Nick up by licking his hand,” Nicholas’s wife Vanessa told 5 News.
“It’s like he could feel the pain coming from Nick”
Abel turned out to be the perfect dog until Abel was struck by a box that fell from a shelf. The Bailey’s didn’t know it, but that incident had changed Abel for the worst.
“We didn’t notice a lot of the things a professional trainer notices, where he was actually hesitant, when he was going into stores,” they said.
Now, the Bailey’s are working hard to enroll Abel in a Myrtle Beach training school designed to help dogs overcome fear, and equip them with the necessary skills they need to be full-fledged service dogs.
However, the animal training school at Canine Angels that the Bailey’s want to enroll Abel in costs nearly $6,000.
When she heard Nicholas and Abel needed help raising the funds, little Rachel Mennett came to the rescue.
“I wanted to help him because my brother knew he needed help, and I wanted to do lemonade so I thought I could help him do it,” said Rachel.
Last Saturday, Rachel started selling lemonade and cookies.
“For me, it’s just amazing that an 8-year-old girl would show any interest in me or my dog,” said Nicholas Bailey.
“Nobody asked her if she wanted to do it, or told her that she needed to do it, she actually asked if she could do it.”
Less than a week ago, the GoFundMe page the Bailey’s set up to pay for Abel’s training has raised just over $1,000.
Today, the Bailey’s have raised over $6,000–which is more than enough for Abel to get the training he needs.
“To me that’s just amazing,” Nicholas said.
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