SOUTH BEND — It’s true that a dog is man’s best friend, but sometimes the relationship can go beyond friendship.
The McGillem family says they never would have imagined a fury friend would be the reason why they say their son is happier than he’s been before.
“I don’t know if he likes her soft fur, or just the warmth or just the company of someone else, but they bonded almost instantaneously,” says Tony Mitchell.
MC Lyte, MC for short, is the newest member of the McGillem family. She’s not just any dog; she’s a service dog for their middle son Cody. The family got MC through 4 Paws For Ability. The non-profit organization places service dogs with children with disabilities and veterans.
Cody likes to build things, watch movies and snuggle, but he also has autism and can be a little unpredictable. Cody wanders sometimes and MC is trained in search-and-rescue tracking to find Cody by his scent. That means the entire family can breathe a huge sigh of relief knowing there’s another set of eyes and paws, watching over Cody.
“She’s a friend to him, she understands him when he has his meltdowns— she’s able to bring him out of his meltdowns a lot quicker than he could by himself or even with our help,” says Cody’s mom Ambrelie.
Because of everything MC does, she needs a special diet of premium dog food to keep her going strong.
That’s where WellPet, a local dog food company, stepped in and donated a lifetime supply of dog food.
“I was touched, and I think as an organization we were all moved and we are just overjoyed to help contribute to the community and to the needs of the McGillem family,” says plant director Doug Mitchell.
“Their generosity is really a surprise and we’ve very grateful,” says Ambrelie.
And they’re also happy to know their son will have a best friend who is always by his side.