‘Service Horse’ Helps Russian Jack Student
Rare genetic disorder means local boy uses his horse and not a walker
ANCHORAGE - It's not unusual for elementary students to gather for an assembly at the end of the week, but Friday’s gathering was slightly different. Teachers, parents and students at Russian Jack Elementary cherish a unique bond between a young boy and his horse.
To help Zaiden, he works with Zoe, a 150-pound black mare. Zoe is the only service horse in an Alaska school. Zaiden’s horse helps him get around and can even perform simple tasks, like picking up object for him.
"I feel such a profound difference for a kid to walk into a classroom with a pony instead of a walker," said Lesley Zacharias, Zaiden’s mother. She’s preparing for the day when his disease will force her son into a wheelchair. "My decision was, there is nothing I can do to change this, all I can do is try to cram 80 years of life into 20."
They say there is nothing like the loved shared between a boy and his dog, but Zaiden has proven the love is just as strong between a boy and his horse.