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School shooting victim gets help from new service dog

Monica Robins, WKYC 7:18 p.m. EST November 7, 2013

CHARDON -- Chardon school shooting survivor Nick Walczak has a new friend that will never leave his side.

"I'm not lonely anymore. He's constantly with me," Nick says.

He's talking about Turner, his new service dog who was trained by prison inmates at the North Central Correctional Complex in Marion. Nick first met Turner at the prison and finally got him permanently about a month ago.

Turner is a Wags 4 Kids dog. The group is a nonprofit organization that trains service dogs for kids with disabilities.

Turner is basically Nick's assistant. He can fetch shoes and pick up clothing as well as turn lights on and off. He was extremely valuable when Nick was home alone and dropped his phone under the wheelchair ramp.

"He saw that it dropped and he was looking at it and he has to have my permission to go take it, and when I said 'Take it,' he went looking for it went under the ramp and brought it up and put it in my lap," Nick says.

Turner went with Nick to Connecticut to speak to the families of the Sandy Hook school shooting. The event featured motivational speaker Tony Robbins. Robbins inspired Nick and became his role model.

"I kind of want to be like him. I want to be a bit of a motivational speaker, even if I wasn't getting paid for it, I'd like to help people out," Nick says.

Next spring Nick plans on going to college to pursue a four-year degree. Turner will be by his side.

With service animals like Turner costing from $16,000 – $20,000 to train and raise, Nick and his family are still trying to fundraise their family mission of $8,000 for Turner. Make a difference in Nick’s life today and donate now by clicking below to help Nick and Turner in their wish to be best friends for life.

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