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Danielle Jacobs is a young woman living with Asperger’s syndrome. She is very aware of the side effects of her condition, but she wants everyone else in the world to be too.
That’s why the 24-year-old from Arizona, posted a video of her service dog Samson doing what he’s trained to do, comforting her during a meltdown. Less than a 30 days later, it’s already skyrocketed to over 4 million views.
Danielle was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in 2013 and met the 4-year-old Rottweiler while volunteering at an animal rescue in Phoenix, where she trained animals.
“She was very focused and had such a love for the animals she worked with,” Erin Denmark, Outreach Manager at HALO, told media.
But Jacobs fell particularly hard for Samson and was drawn to the pup quickly.
“He seemed to gravitate toward her,” Denmark said. “There was a bond that started to form and she knew it would be more than just training — he was going to go home with her.”
After adopting him and welcoming Samson into her home, Jacobs started training him for service work for her Asperger’s syndrome, PTSD, TBI and anxiety disorder.
“He alerts to meltdowns, anger, depressive episodes, flashbacks and nightmares, stimming, provides balance and counterbalance, and alerts to panic attacks,” Jacobs told media.
The duo has been inseparable ever since and now together they’re helping to spread awareness about Asperger’s syndrome.
“Samson needed her just as much as she needed him,” Denmark said.