Walks for Love: Dog walkers for the disabled - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Walks for Love: Dog walkers for the disabled

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RANCHO BERNARDO (CBS 8) - At a Rancho Bernardo park, every dog has its day, including an 11-year-old golden retriever named Ayrn.

"Ayrn was trained for two years to be a service dog," Anne Sardena said.

Ayrn was brought to the park by Anne, who runs a nonprofit, all-volunteer group called Walks for Love.

"We walk dogs for disabled and ill people. All they have to do is call me and we come over and take their dog for a walk. We can take them to grooming appointments, to the vet, pretty much whatever they need," Anne said.

Ayrn is a service dog for a 20-year-old man named Alex who suffers from a progressive form of muscular dystrophy that keeps him housebound. Alex's mom Beth knows valuable Ayrn has been to her son.

"She was trained to turn off, on the lights for him, to pick things up off the floor, like he drops a remote… even if he dropped his pencil when he was doing his homework, and one of the big things was to go and get help," Beth said.

But without daily walks, Ayrn began to get very lethargic.

"They're depressed for one thing, and they are neglected is what it really comes down to. They just want to get outside and get some fresh air and walk because that's what dogs like to do," Anne said.

So Anne and her dedicated volunteers at Walks for Love make sure that dogs of shut-ins aren't shut out of some much-needed exercise.

"Corinne's my newest volunteer and she's walking a dog in Del Mar that before we started walking, Skye hadn't been walked in years," Anne said.

Walks for Love's human clients are grateful.

"I have actually had people so thankful they've cried because they know that their dog should get more attention than it does, so they're just so thankful," Anne said.

Anne feels fulfilled.

"It's just been really rewarding for me too," she said.

And the dogs, well, they're wagging behinds tell the tale.

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