We never really know when something will happen and change the course of our lives big time. It would take a lot of our time and effort before we finally find ourselves again. However, going through a rough patch would be more bearable if we had a furry friend by our side.
Anastasia Pagonis, a girl from Long Island, lost her vision when she was 14 years old. Growing up, she has always been a sporty kid, playing soccer and lacrosse. Like with any disability, it was really hard for Anastasia to adjust to her new normal.
It was unknown what was causing Anastasia’s loss of vision. When she was slowly losing her sense of sight, Peter Pagonis, Anastasia’s father, encouraged her to start swimming. She seemed to have a natural talent for swimming and fell in love with the sport.
However, when Anastasia totally lost her vision, it took her down a dark path. Like with any disability, it was indeed a challenging time. She felt depressed for a while and didn’t want to go back to the pool. But after more than a year, thanks to her guide dog, Radar, Anastasia was able to come back stronger than ever.
Puppy With A Purpose is an organization that provides service dogs for those who are in need. They also trained Radar together with Anastasia to learn how they would work with each other according to her daily needs. The two were just the perfect match.
Anastasia was so in love with her best friend and her guide dog. Radar makes her hooman feel confident and independent about living the life that she had wanted. Not long after, Anastasia told her dad that she wants to go back to the pool and start swimming again.
As soon as Anastasia was back in the waters, she felt motivated to pursue a new goal to join the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo. Being dedicated to her beloved sport, Anastasia received an offer from the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to train as a full-time athlete.
Peter considers Radar as the “best dog ever” as much as his daughter says that her pooch was the best thing that has ever happened to her. What Anastasia went through as a teenager was a really difficult phase. But thanks to Radar’s help, this girl is on her way to the Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Video Credit: PIX11 News