A video of an assistance dog helping a wheelchair user on a shopping trip has gone viral on TikTok, where it has received a wave of praise from users on the video-sharing platform.
The footage shared by the TikTok account of the dog named Bracken (under the username assistancedog_bracken) had received 1.1 million views and 134,000 likes at the time of writing.
The video showed Bracken helping the wheelchair user with various tasks, including getting itself ready for the trip by bringing its jacket and leash over to the owner.
The original poster said Bracken is “trained to help me get dressed and undressed,” as the video showed the dog pulling her trousers off and later bringing items back to the owner.
The video also showed the dog pressing the buttons on the elevator and perching onto the owner’s lap using two paws to allow the owner to clip the leash onto its neck.
A December 2020 study published in the peer-reviewed PLOS ONE journal notes that: “Beyond the functional tasks that assist dogs are trained for, there is growing literature describing their benefits on the psychosocial health and wellbeing of their handlers.”
The study’s analysis of 147 statistical comparisons across the domains of psychological health, quality of life, social health and vitality found that 30 percent of comparisons made were positive in which “having an assistance dog was associated with improved psychosocial functioning among individuals with disabilities.”
The study added that “positive findings were identified in all domains and sub-domains of psychosocial health and wellbeing.”
In a caption shared alongside the latest TikTok video, the wheelchair user also noted “how crazy is it that in 2022, buses can only fit one wheelchair user at a time?!” explaining in the video that there was already one wheelchair user on the bus that arrived for them to travel to the shopping area.
According to the voiceover in the video, the bus driver allowed her to fold up her wheelchair to board the bus. The user said: “We don’t allow our dogs on the seats, but at the time we boarded the bus, there wasn’t any space at all for Bracken due to a buggy being folded up behind. The driver gave us permission and I wiped the seat down afterwards,” in the caption shared with the video.
“Bracken loves his job and without him, this just wouldn’t be possible,” the user said as the video concluded.
Several TikTok users have shared messages of praise for the “clever” and “amazing” dog for its helpfulness.
Heather Moir said: “Excuse me that is not an assistance dog. That’s your bestie x,” in a comment that got 3,900 likes at the time of writing.
User Fiona Lawson135 wrote: “Wow he’s amazing, I didn’t realize he could help you with dressing as well,” in a comment that got 2,930 likes.
The original poster replied: “Yes! It’s kind of hard to show that in a video which is why I haven’t so far but one of Bracken’s favorite tasks is taking my socks off,” in a comment that received 723 likes.
Nicola green wrote: “The goodest cleverest boy,” in a comment that had 872 likes.
HelenaFenski said: “Assistance dogs are just so amazing…very clever, beautiful boy Bracken.”
JR said: “Bracken is such a good boy! So intelligent, amazing the things they can do,” to which the original poster replied: “I had no idea how much you could teach them before I got Bracken. The possibilities are endless. “
Several also highlighted the need for more space for wheelchair users on buses.
Amanda said: “Totally agree that buses should start to accommodate more than one wheelchair user at a time!!,” in a comment that got 1,354 likes, to which the dog owner replied: “Definitely! I can’t go out with any friends who are wheelchair users because we’d have to get separate buses!”
Bea also agreed, saying: “It’s ridiculous buses are limited to 1 wheelchair, but glad you got a decent bus driver who let you both do that! bracken is such a good boy!”
Jeannette added: “Kudos to the bus driver (and Bracken),” in a comment that had 413 likes. The dog owner said: “I know, I was so relieved he let me fold my chair up! He also told me to put Bracken on the seat because we had a buggy behind us when we got on.”
Newsweek has contacted the original poster (under the username assistancedog_bracken) for comment.