(Tucson, Ariz.) - Claire, a 6-year-old shepherd mix, was relinquished to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona in December. She had a rough history of being in and out of shelters – but she was about to get her happy ending.
Marco, 12, was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa at the age of 6. The disease affects his vision and unfortunately, by the age 12 Marco was considered legally blind. Marco is also losing hearing in his right ear and many days he is plagued with fatigue and lack of energy. Things like going to school and doing homework can be difficult for Marco because of the fatigue. But this hasn’t stopped him from keeping a smile on his face and begging his mother for a dog. This is where the story begins.
Marco and his mother came to the HSSA over the holiday break. Marco picked Claire to do a meet and greet in the yard. When Claire was taken out to meet Marco the bond was instantaneous. 
“Normally, Claire is shy and takes a moment to warm up to things, but as soon as I dropped the leash she ran right over to Marco—it was really awesome. I think people forget shelter dogs can be service dogs too” said Jenny, HSSA shelter tech.
And since that meeting, the two are inseparable. She has truly become a companion animal, giving Marco company and comfort.
“I was really excited when I adopted Claire,” says Marco. “I don’t get to do many things because I never feel good, so once met Claire I was happy. When we met, by the end of the day she was following me around, she always comes to me and it always makes me feel so happy. She really is my best friend.”
For more information about Claire and Marco, or to meet them in person, please contact Samantha Esquivel, Public Relations Lead for the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, at 321-3704, ext. 177, or sesquivel@hssaz.org.

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