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A boy and his dog

VIDEO: Boy gets a dog to help with...

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - There's a saying that every boy should have two things: a dog and a mother who lets him have one.

Connor Cave, now has both.

"It's an amazing blessing," says Stacey Cave, Connor's Mom.

Stacey says she knew when Connor was just a 1-year-old, something was wrong.

He didn't speak for the first three years.

He couldn't be around crowds without having a sort of panic attack.

He was eventually diagnosed with autism, and despite therapy, has struggled for years.

At 11, he's had thoughts no child should."

Sadly, sometimes he doesn't want to stay on this earth," she says, and adds again, "Sadly."

But last Monday, a new opportunity ran up to his door.

A dog with the perfect name…

"Good boy, Chance!" Connor says, as his golden dog runs to him.

"I just felt overjoyed. I haven't felt that way in years," Connor says.

Connor got hooked up with a non-profit group called Service Dogs By Warren Retrievers.

The dogs can sense the illnesses you can't always see, and give people that fighting chance.

"An overall peace for the family that the child has confidence with the dog with him, to go into places and always has that dog with him," says Erin Gray, a service dog trainer with Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers.

"When Chance arrived, he was a whole new kid. He was like “Mom, I'm so happy! I've never felt so happy, I feel so much better!"

She smiles and adds gently, "So…we needed it."

There's a lot of work ahead. Dogs take work, of course, and there's more training.

But Connor's been venturing to public places already - calmer, with a constant friend next to him.

"He's like a massive stuffed animal, walking around beside you," Connor smiles.

It's the beginning of a bold new adventure for this 11-year-old and his dog.

A beautiful new chance, for the boy who deserves one.

To learn more about Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers, visit http://www.sdwr.org.


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