Rachel Benke’s guide dog Taxi got his own photo in the Hector Garcia Middle School yearbook this year, according to Today. Taxi has been with 14-year-old Rachel for four years now, keeping an eye on her and warning her before her seizures start.
Rachel was born with an abnormality in the right side of her brain, and she would have as many as 200 seizures a day. She was unable to speak until after she had two corrective surgeries when she was six years old.
“It was just miraculous,” her mother Teresa said. “She starting eating, started talking, started learning. We were told she would probably never be able to read, and now she’s reading Dr. Seuss books by herself, and some chapter books.”
Rachel still has seizures occasionally, and Taxi can alert people before they start.
“He predicts she’s going to have a seizure up to an hour and half before it happens,” Teresa said. “It seems to be a smell that the body emits, but until dogs can talk we can never know for sure.”
Taxi stays by Rachel’s side at all times, including going to school with her every day. Teresa joked to Rachel last year that the half-Labrador retriever, half-golden retriever should have his own picture in the yearbook. This year, Rachel asked the photographer to take some pictures of Taxi, and his picture was placed next to hers in the yearbook.
“They’re so cute together,” Teresa said. “They’re such a great team.”
“When I posted that picture, never in a million years would I have imagined that it would rise to this magnitude. It’s been fun, and it’s been even more fun watching [Rachel] get excited about it. Three years ago this wouldn’t have even registered for her.”