Scottsdale girl's service dog nominated for Milk Bone honor

Posted at 4:29 AM, May 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-04 11:31:59-04

The friendship between Claudia Rank and Bliss, a Golden Labrador, is so strong you can actually see it.

"She can calm me down really well," says Claudia, who is in middle school in Scottsdale. "She just licks me." 

It's those kisses and gentle nudges from Bliss that changed Claudia's life two and a half years ago. She's able to relax a little because her best friend is always right there.   

Bliss has made such a difference, she was just awarded Milk Bone's 'Dogs Who Changed the World' award. It's fitting because she really has changed Claudia's world.  

Bliss is not just there, she's able to open a door, flip a light switch, and pick stuff up for Claudia.  

Just walking next to a wheelchair even takes training.  

"It actually takes a lot of skill for a dog to be able to walk through a doorway tied to a wheelchair," says Beth Rank, Claudia's mom. "They have to time themselves going through a doorway and it takes some practice." 

But what can't be taught is the love between the two. 

"We have an emotional connection too, so if I'm sad, she's sad," says Claudia.

Bliss is one of 15 dogs picked by Milk Bone to get the honor. The company says it did a national search for canines who are making a big difference in the world.