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Muscular Dystrophy

Companion dog brings greater independence to Parkton man with muscular dystrophy

Companion dog brings greater independence to Parkton man with muscular dystrophy

There are sure to be some Christmas presents under the Lorenz's tree in Parkton for the family's newest member.

But the new guy, Keaton, a Labrador/golden retriever mix, wouldn't think of touching any gift, even if it contained tasty dog bones — unless he receives a command from Beckley, 19, or his father, Mike.

Keaton is Beckley's assistance dog, given to him in August by Canine Companions for Independence. Since 1975, the nonprofit group has placed more than 5,000 dogs with children and adults with disabilities. Keaton is one of 479 placed in the United States this year.

Beckley has muscular dystrophy and has used a wheelchair since he was a third-grader at Fifth...

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