Service dog helps 7-year-old boy prepare for his 10th surgery

Source:  Today / By Jen Reeder

When Indiana resident Gavin Swearingen was just 2 years old, he let go of a swing, hit his head and suffered a traumatic brain injury. The little boy lost about 75% of the left side of his brain, developed epilepsy and cerebral palsy, and has survived several strokes.

So last year, Gavin, who lives in Carmel, just north of Indianapolis, got his first service dog. Elmer, a Labrador-golden retriever mixed breed trained by the nonprofit Canine Companions for Independence, helps with the boy’s physical challenges in myriad ways.

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