Synopses & Reviews
It was 1995, and Mike Lingenfelter was ready for his life to be over. Two serious heart attacks and open-heart surgery had taken away most of the good things that he had in his life. However, his doctors still held out hope for him, and they were trying to find ways to motivate him to get out of the house and exercise. Their vision was that an energetic dog on a leash might do that for Mike. And so it was that this golden retriever named Dakota, who had been rescued from death himself, came to help Mike with his rehabilitative therapy. Eventually, Dakota became Mike's protector and his best friend, saving Mike's life several times after somehow learning how to alert Mike of oncoming heart crises. Dakota gave Mike back his dignity, his pride, and his life. Early on, it became evident to Mike that this wonderful 98-pound, red-haired, four-legged angel had a special gift: Dakota was a spirit guide, and it was Mike's duty to share him and the power of the human-animal bond. Ultimately, as part of that journey, one more miracle was needed, as Dakota fought a courageous and dignified battle for his own life. Dakota was Mike's very special golden retriever service dog with unique, life-saving talents. He was named 1999 Service Dog of the Year by Delta Society, elected to the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation Animal Hall of Fame, and chosen as Humanitarian of the Year by the National Sertoma Club of Dallas (the first nonhuman recipient in history).