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Toddler gets unique service dog to help her with rare disease

Alida Knobloch plays on the playground and takes walks in the park like any other 2-year-old, but she has to carry around an oxygen tank with her at all times because of a rare disease called neuroendocrine hyperplasia of infancy (NEHI), The Walton Tribune reports.

Her parents know that she will always have to go through life with a tube trailing her, but wanted to find a way to make it easier for her. Their solution came in a playful young dog named Mr. Gibbs, who has been trained since puppyhood to be a service dog.

"We're trying to provide some independence for her," father Aaron Knobloch told the news outlet.

Mr. Gibbs wears a vest that has pockets on either side for small oxygen tanks and follows the toddler everywhere she needs to go.

"He's still learning, as we just got him a couple of weeks ago," Knobloch said. "He's very much a puppy in some ways, playful and gangly. But when he wears the vest, he's all business and does really well, even in public."

According to the Mother Nature Network, service dogs do not have to wear vests to be legitimate, but they must wear a leash or a tether of some kind when they accompany their human partners.
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