The Dynamic Duo of the Freshman Building

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The Dynamic Duo of the Freshman Building

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If you were to ask Brody Hamlinz what his condition is, he might say “I could try to explain it, but if I were you, I would just look it up.”

 Brody has muscular dystrophy and, if you do look it up, you will find that it is “a genetic disease that causes progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass.” However, while this definition doesn’t limit who he is, it does, in fact, make him the determined kid he is today. 

And it is this disease that brought him, at the age of 11, to Canine Assistance in Milton, Georgia, a nonprofit organization that helps kids just like Brody everyday find a companion dog. The doctors believed this was the best option for him and his family to help with his condition.

The road to getting a service dog was not a short process, as Brody said he had to wait a couple of years for this opportunity to claim a service dog. Therefore, he described his feelings when he was on the way to get the dog as “excited” and “hopeful.”

 When he arrived, he was put in a group with 10 other kids in similar situations. One by one, they brought out dogs to see which kid the dog would react the best to. He explain how he knew that which dog was the one, as “there was a special connection.” 

This special connection was made with Platty, a Goldendoodle trained with funding from another dog’s Gofund me page. Platty got his nickname from another dog, Platypus.  Platypus was a homeless dog, named such because of the large size of his nose, caused by a cancerous tumor. People all over the world donated money to help save Platypus’s life, and when all was said and done, the money left over after the surgery was used to purchase and train a new service dog. The founders of the page wanted people to remember the legacy of the original dog, “Platypus,” and thus Brody’s dog “Platty” got his name. 

When asked how people at school reacted when he first brought Platty to school, he said, “I first got him half way through sixth grade, and at first everyone wanted to pet him and stuff, but now they are all used to him.” Everyone at school is very accepting of Platty and loves his presence as he brings joy to his classes. At school, Platty helps Brody with various tasks, such as picking up dropped objects and opening and closing doors.  Additionally, since people want to meet Platty, they get to meet Brody. And just through meeting Brody a couple of times, his optimism and warmth he brings to the entirety of his community is evident.