SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Some days are harder than others for 25-year-old Sean Goral who suffered a spinal cord injury after a car accident.
"After the accident, my first question when I woke up was 'Will I be able to surf again?' The doctors told me no," said Sean Goral.
Before his injury, Goral traveled the world to surf and spent a lot of time outdoors. He changed his lifestyle and rehabilitated. An advocate recommended that he apply for a service dog, which he did. That application changed his life.
"Spirit means the world to me," said Goral.
He took thorough surveys for Canine Assistants which matched him to a golden retriever and black Labrador female mix. Canine Assistants is a nonprofit organization. Its goal is to train and provide service dogs to enhance and improve the lives of people who have physical disabilities, seizure conditions or other special needs.
Spirit helps Goral physically and emotionally. Through their time together, a bond has grown.
"I have a little twin bed and she will somehow figure out a way to lay right next to me at night. She'll move up and I'll wake up and she'll have her face on my face. I can't imagine a day without her," said Goral.
With Spirit beside him, Goral plans on applying for graduate school.
September is National Service Dog Month and Elanco, the sponsors of Canine Assistants, are "Celebrating the Bond" of these devoted companions and their humans.
For more information on Canine Assistants and to watch the documentary featuring Sean and Spirit, you can visit this link.