Diamond was one day from being put down when Denna Williams found her at the animal shelter, but the stroke survivor says she’s the one that’s really been rescued. The 9-year-old Alaskan Samoa has saved her life twice and has given her purpose.
In 1999, Williams suffered a massive stroke that left her completely paralyzed on her left side, and wiped her memory clean to the point where she couldn’t even remember her name, she says. To complicate matters, she was two months pregnant.
Although she gave birth to a healthy daughter, the retired military veteran faced other challenges. She suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, seizures, and issues with mobility and balance. She also had trouble with daily activities, including getting dressed. Not to mention, Williams was now a single mom of four.
The day Williams met Diamond in 2004 changed both of their lives. Working with a certified dog trainer, Diamond learned to remind Williams to take her medications, assist with daily living tasks, and call for help. Twice, that training has saved Williams’ life when she suffered seizures and Diamond’s barking alerted others.
She also inspired Williams to continue recovering. With Diamond’s help, Williams has moved from a wheelchair to full mobility, and she has been able to replace negative feelings like anger, fear, and helplessness with more positive ones. Williams has more confidence and a new purpose after becoming a certified dog trainer herself.