HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Just a month ago, Chris Jackson and "Nala” the dog were complete strangers. The disabled Henrico man was desperate to find a new service dog after his beloved Jake died in December.
“I spent most of each day lying in bed in depression and mourning the death of my service dog of 14 and a half years,” said Jackson.
Jackson felt hopeless, as he was told it could be years before he got a new companion and would cost thousands of dollars.
"I didn’t know how it was going to happen, but I needed another service dog sooner than two or three years,” he said.
Jackson's wish would come true when CBS 6 Problem Solvers stepped in.
Thanks to Bridging RVA and New Life Individual and Family Services in Dallas, Texas, Jackson got a new best friend.
CBS 6 surprised him in the middle of an interview last month with Nala.
"It was life changing,” Jackson told CBS 6 on a recent visit. "If I had a dollar for every time I told her I loved her… I would be a very wealthy man.”
Since that special moment in April, Jackson said he and Nala have been inseparable.
"I can’t leave the room without her following me... Her bed is right next to mine,” he said.
Jackson said there is nothing like waking up to Nala putting her arms around him and giving him a big kiss.
“That’s her way of saying good morning daddy,” he added.
The Henrico man said the bond between them was instant and she has also helped him with his depression and day to day tasks.
"She instantly fell into her role. She knew that this was her house. That this was her yard,” said Jackson.
That is why he is forever grateful for the two organizations that helped make this all possible.
"It means everything to me. This is my support system. This is my family. This is my child. And it’s the closest thing I’ll ever have to all of these things.”
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