Sue Holmes and Vinnie
Vinnie helps Sue with dislocations. Photo: Sue Holmes
Sue Holmes and Vinnie
Vinnie helps Sue with dislocations. Photo: Sue Holmes

The incredible dog Vinnie is an oasis of comfort for her grateful owner and aids in coping with a rare bone disorder.

Sue Holmes, who suffers from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, depends on the well-trained Labrador in her daily activities.

The genetic disease impacted her bones' supporting connective tissues. She uses a harness Vinnie tugs to exert pressure when her joints pop out of place.

How Vinnie the Labrador Helps Sue with Dislocations

Ten years ago, when her illness began to affect her day-to-day duties, Ms. Holmes had to end her nursing employment.

“What happens is my shoulders, my hips, my knees—any joints can all dislocate without doing much movement at all,” she said.

“It got to the stage that I couldn't go on the ward without having my shoulders taped to my body so they didn't dislocate when I was at work.

Vinnie helps with dislocations.

He has a special harness I put on, and then he pulls in a certain direction and will pull for a certain length of time until I tell him to stop, and then he'll keep that pressure on until my joint is put back into place.

He has transformed my life.”

Vinnie and the last dog owned by Ms. Homes were trained by Canine Partners, a non-profit organization that matches 78 dogs annually with individuals with severe physical impairments.

Labrador Vinnie
Vinnie has been trained to help Sue in her daily activities. Photo: Sue Holmes

Vinnie, an eight-year-old diabetic alert dog, will bark if he senses a decline in Sue's glucose level.

He would also grab the wheelchair-bound 55-year-old a beverage from the refrigerator.

She said: “I’m less anxious.

Inside is a basket with a can of Coke. He will get the basket, bring it to me and then go back and close the fridge door.”

Sue's 56-year-old husband, Mark, relates how Vinnie became Sue’s dog companion six years ago.

“He is a bit of a lifesaver,” he added.

Bernard Ellis doll house
Ms. Holmes’ father spent the last six years creating and decorating a doll house which he is selling to raise money for the charity. Photo: Sue Holmes

Bernard Ellis, Ms. Holmes’ father, also has spent the last six years creating and decorating a doll house.

The charity, which calculates the cost of training each dog at roughly £30,000, will get the proceeds from the sale of the four-story house.

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How Aubrey describes love is a wet nose and a happy tail. She now has over a year of experience writing about canines with a particular emphasis on health and behavior. She enjoys sharing dog tips, fun facts, and pet med topics, among other things. Her passion for both writing and dogs inspired her to share her knowledge and experience with other dog parents so they could provide the greatest care for their pets. She also stands against alpha, leader, and dominance theories. She believes there’s no need to do extra things like eating prior to your dogs.