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Following Felicia: Service Dog Completes Training

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Felicia Felicia
Dave Browning Dave Browning
Dave Browning and Felicia Dave Browning and Felicia
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

NBC29’s Madison Carter has followed Felicia's journey with Service Dogs of Virginia from puppy raising to advanced training. Now, she has specialized in the field of physical assistance.

Felicia is now living and working in Richmond with her forever person Dave Browning.

Browning was diagnosed with ALS late last summer. The neurodegenerative disease has progressed quickly.

“The hardest part is the first thing in the morning, getting dressed,” he said.

Browning said his wife contacted Service Dogs of Virginia right around the time Felicia was heading to advanced training.

Amy Lowell, who helped to raise Felicia, came to see the dog off to her forever home.

“Part of the puppy things is as I’m raising her I'm thinking about her eventual job,” said Lowell. “She's working and she's doing a great job, and she does want the job. She wants to work, she does not want to be a pet.”

Along with her training at Service Dogs of Virginia, Felicia has learned to adapt her skills to specific tasks her human needs.

“Picking things up, as you've seen,” said Browning. “Retrieving things that I've dropped, which happens more and more.

He adds, “It's becoming more and more of like a unit, she's like an arm and I expect I'll become more and more dependent.”