Born with a rare hereditary condition, eighteen-year-old Azaria Moyse is sharing her story and how her Dogs for Good assistance dog, Bronte, gives her the confidence to go out alone for the first time in almost five years.
Azaria was born with Infantile Pompe disease, which is estimated to affect one in every 40,000 babies born every year. The condition causes muscle weakness, affecting every muscle in her body, including those needed for speech; this makes it challenging for Azaria to do anything – but with Bronte by her side, she is taking back her independence.
Azaria first met a therapy dog three years ago, during a hospital stay. The meeting cheered her up during a difficult time, and soon she was looking up information about charities that offer assistance dogs – including Dogs for Good.
Dogs for Good is a UK-wide charity that trains life-changing assistance dogs for people living with a wide ranger of disabilities and conditions, allowing them to regain a degree of independence. Azaria applied for an assistance dog from Dogs for Good two years ago and, finally, she was marched with Bronte the black Labrador in March 2021. Bronte’s presence has already made a world of difference in Azaria’s life.
“Bronte has made such a difference to not only Azaria’s life but all our lives as a family.”
Azaria says, “Before getting Bronte I made my plans around when my mum wasn’t at work because I like to have someone with me. Now Bronte just comes with me and I don’t have to rely on my mum or anyone else. She has given me a real sense of freedom!”
Bronte also accompanies Azaria at hospital appointments, providing invaluable emotional support.
Mum Jo says, “Having Bronte by her side makes her feel more confident about going out and she can meet her friends without me.
“For example, Azaria came to meet me for lunch when I was at work today. We wouldn’t have been able to do that previously because it took too long for me to get home to pick her up and go somewhere.”
“It’s rewarding to know I’m part of something that makes such a huge difference to people’s lives.”
She adds, “It’s lovely to see Azaria be more independent. She asks Bronte to do things for her which isn’t as bad as asking your mum to do something for you. Bronte has made such a difference to not only Azaria’s life but all our lives as a family.”
Dogs for Good instructor Jane Pawling says, “Within the first week of Azaria getting Bronte, Jo told me they had all been crying happy tears because they could already see how much she could help her.
“Moments like this make me very proud to do my job, it’s rewarding to know I’m part of something that makes such a huge difference to people’s lives.”
For more information about Dogs for Good, visit their website.
Image by Dogs for Good