Service dog finds a home in Waterloo - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Service dog finds a home in Waterloo


We first introduced you to 17-year-old Julian about a year ago. Julian suffered a traumatic brain injury from being shaken as a baby, and his family was raising money to get him a service dog.

The family raised $13,000 for the organization "4 Paws for Ability" for a dog to help with Julian's impaired vision, autism and stress levels.

Just more than a week ago, Julian got to meet his new dog for the first time.

At first glance, Clover looks like a typical dog, but she's actually got a very specific purpose for finding a new home in Waterloo.

Clover is a 14-month-old golden retriever. But at just six weeks old she began training to be Julian's multi-purpose service dog.

The family sent "4 Paws for Ability" hundreds of hours of videos of Julian to customize Clover to his needs.

Earlier in May, Clover was trained and ready to come home to Waterloo.

"We spent two weeks in Ohio at a training facility learning commands and starting to build the relationship with dog and child," said mother Leah Morrison.

Leah, her husband and Julian were in Ohio with eight other families getting service dogs.

"One of the kids started having a seizure and that dog they'd been assigned was trained for seizure alert and the dog, the first day of class was already identifying the seizure. It was pretty intense to see the skill level of these dogs," said Morrison.

Clover's "job" is to work for Julian as a guide dog, a calming companion for his autism and object retrieval related to his impaired vision.

Next school year, Clover will be a new "student" at West High in Waterloo, never leaving Julian's side.

Leah Morrison said she's thrilled with the match between her son and his dog.

"Absolutely a perfect match. Their likes are the same. Both are cuddly, both outgoing," said Morrison.

Clover is still considered a puppy.

She loves to play and "lets loose" at home, but she's all business when it comes to taking care of Julian.

The goal is for this two-some to be together for the next ten years.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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