BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - A Bossier City family has received a special gift this holiday season, one with 4 legs and a tail.
But their Labrador retriever is more than just a family pet. She's a service dog for their youngest son.
At a glance, 11-month-old Declyn is your typical little boy, fascinated by the world around him.
"We don't know how he's going to be later on in life. All we know is his seizures, and they're not good ones," explained Declyn's father, Josh Holman.
Doctors have diagnosed Declyn with tuberous sclerosis. It's a rare genetic condition that causes tumors to grow on vital organs. As a result, Declyn suffers severe gran mal seizures.
"To see him ... arch and go purple and blue, I don't know how to explain that because you watch helplessly," said his mother, Chelsea Holman.
Wanting to do whatever they could for their son, Chelsea and Josh created a GoFundMe campaign in hopes of adopting a service dog.
"We felt that having a seizure therapy dog was needed for him being so young and not having a voice," Josh Holman said.
With the help of puppyspot.com, Brena has a new home with the Holmans.
"She has been an absolute blessing from above. It's been wonderful," Chelsea Holman said.
The 4-month-old pup already keeps a watchful eye on Declyn and his older brother.
"She was a part of the family the instant that she flew in from Oregon," Josh Holman said.
The Holmans have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season, including the support of friends and family, and a little puppy love.
"I just have the faith that everything will be OK, Josh Holman added.
The Holmans will be working with the nonprofit Pay It Forward Networking to get Brena trained and certified as a service animal.