There’s nothing Tyler Ford loves more than dogs.
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His mom Shanda thinks it’s because of his pure heart. The 21-year-old from North Carolina has a lot of love to give – just like man’s best friend. And he smiles often, especially when he’s with his Australian shepherds, Banjo and Fiddle.
Tyler was born with cri-du-chat syndrome, a rare chromosomal condition that affects his motor skills. He struggles with speaking, eating, and processing sensory information. Pain is a constant in his life because he also has hip dysplasia. But none of these hardships have ever been able to take away his happiness.
“To watch him endure these things day in and day out, knowing he does not have the ability to verbalize his discomforts and exhaustion, makes him nothing less than a hero in my book,” Shanda wrote. “Nonetheless, he continues to show grace to live life to its fullest, braving each day with that contagious smile on his face.”
Even on Tyler’s toughest days, meeting a new dog brightens his mood. That’s why for his upcoming birthday in April, his aunt, Christy Ford, decided to give her nephew a special gift. She made a Facebook post asking anyone and everyone to send photos of their dogs to be put together in a book. But she could have never anticipated the incredible response.
Christy’s post went viral within hours, inspiring people from around the world to not only send photos, but other dog-themed gifts as well! Tyler has received thousands of pictures so far, and they haven’t stopped coming! His Facebook page has been flooded with photos from fans, as well.
One little girl named Amelia even sent her cherished stuffed dog, Zippy, with the hopes it would always make Tyler smile.
Perhaps the best gift came from local law enforcement, who caught wind of Tyler’s story and arranged a special visit with K-9 officer Red.
Tyler’s birthday is still more than a month away, but it’s already turning out to be one of the best of his life! You can help make it even better by sending dog photos to the address below before March 31. The family asks that you include the dog’s name and breed as well as the owner’s name.
Tyler c/o Christy Ford
PO Box 1036 Trinity, NC 27370
Share to spread the word so others can send photos, too!
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