Meet Mahe, The Service Dog That Soothed Boy with Autism During Hospital Visit
While furry friends hold a special place in all of our hearts, Mahe, an assistance dog trained by Assistance Dogs New Zealand, provided particularly crucial support to James Isaac, 9, in his time of need.
James, from Wellington, New Zealand, has autism and suffers from seizures.
"They haven't found the cause of his seizures yet," his mom, Michelle Isaac, told INSIDE EDITION.
Speaking to ABC News, she added that James does not speak, cannot make eye contact, and does not like being touched.
But he welcomes the warm embrace of his black Labrador. The boy and his dog are inseparable - which was especially vital during James Isaac's stay in Wellington Children's Hospital earlier this month.
To investigate his seizures, doctors ordered an MRI. Because the boy could not remain still, they had to put him under general anesthesia to conduct the tests.
In this terrifying time for the family, his furry companion provided support.
"The staff at the hospital encouraged Mahe to hop onto the bed with James to keep him calm," his mom told ABC News. "As James was receiving anesthesia, Mahe put his nose right up to James' face and seemed really concerned."
In fact, the dog even noticed Michelle Isaac's unease while her son's tests were being run. Mahe waited with her but was sure to be right by James Isaac's side before he woke.
Now the family is hopeful they will get to the bottom of what causes James' seizures.
"He is doing fine," his mom told IE. "They haven't found the cause of his seizures yet but the MRI ruled out a lot of things. At least his seizures are not too frequent at this point - I know there are many kids and families who deal with them on a daily basis."
But one thing they know for sure: Mahe will always be by James' side.