Boy's spirit lives on in service dog

(WXIA) -- Each of the dogs in Canine Assistants' latest graduating class has a story, but the name and story behind a certain dog is one that touched people across the country.

One year ago, 11Alive profiled a very sick little boy named Creed. He shared an extraordinary friendship with a Canine Assistants dog named Casper.

Creed's parents said their son was near death when they called for Casper.

"I told Creed that Caspy was with him," said Stephanie Campbell, the little boy's mother. Casper jumped on the bed, and Stephanie placed his paw in Creed's hand. Creed squeezed the paw. A nurse who witnessed the interaction said, "That dog just brought that boy back to life."

Creed died a short time later -- around the time a new litter of Canine Assistants puppies was born. One of the dogs was named Creed, and Stephanie got to meet and hold her son's namesake.

"It was something tangible I could hold again," Stephanie said.

On Thursday night, Creed the dog graduated from Canine Assistants with 18-year-old Blair Hagelgans.

"I have a lot of neurological issues, but I'm mainly here for my epilepsy, to get a seizure alert dog," Blair said.

Blair will take Creed to college so he can help warn her of seizures before they happen.

"It will give my mom and dad peace of mind," Blair said. "I will finally have independence."

It's the story of a girl and her dog -- not so unlike a little boy and his dog, together for life.


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