A Girl’s Best Friend

Sami Stoner of Ohio running a cross country race with her dog Chloe

A few years ago, Sami Stoner was just a regular 8th grade school girl in Ohio who loved to run cross country but things started to change when she began having trouble with her vision. After many tests it was confirmed that she had a rare eye disease and she would never recover. While still able to see somewhat, she describes everything as blurry colors and shadows, and was therefore designated as legally blind. Although she’s able to make use of certain aids to help her read and study, her love of running appeared to have to end because of the danger involved. Or did it?

Through the help of a specially trained golden retriever named Chloe from the Pilot Dogs organization, Sami was able to resume her love of running cross country for her high school team, having just run her last senior year race last month. As you might expect, she and Chloe have developed an incredible bond that continues off the racecourse as well. ESPN featured this inspirational 10-minute story recently on their site, and you can watch it here. And yes, once again you’ll need a kleenex.