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Stories

Hippie makes me independent

Liv Tone Lind was born with dysmelia. She has no legs and only one arm, but that does not limit her, thanks to service dog Hippie.

- I had one life before Hippie, and one life after. Everything changed when she entered my life. She gave me the freedom of not having to ask other people for help. I wanted to be independent, and Hippie made that possible for me. She holds my hairbrush so that I can brush my hair in the morning and pulls up the zippers on my clothes.

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- When we're grocery shopping, Hippie picks up my credit card if I drop it. When I'm out training on the track, she walks next to me carrying my bottle and other essentials. Hippie helps me with everyday chores and challenges throughout the day. In addition, having a dog is therapy on four legs. I love her company, and we do everything together, Liv Tone says.

Two years of training

Hippie is one of nearly 60 certified service dogs in Norway. She grew up with a volunteer puppy raiser for the first six months, teaching her basic skills like walking nicely on a leash and socializing. Then, professional service dog trainers at Hundeskolen Veiviseren took over to teach her more advanced skills.

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- Hippie was nearly two years old when I got her. After getting to know each other and ensuring we were a good match, we worked on specific skills needed for my situation.

Hippie is happy to assist Liv Tone whenever needed. For this labrador, working is just another fun game.

Paralympic medalist

Liv Tone has always had an active lifestyle, despite her disability. In 1992, she won two gold medals in swimming at the Paralympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. She also climbed the mountain Snøhetta with ten other disabled persons in the TV series "Ingen Grenser" (No limits). She is an excellent example that anything is possible with the right mindset.

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- I enjoy being out in nature, and Hippie is happy to join me. Everything is better with a dog by your side.

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