Woman's need for prosthesis matched by service dog

Image 1 of 5

They both lost a leg. They both wear prosthetics. Maja Kazazic says she knew she and Rosie were a match the second she laid eyes on her.

"When I heard she was a Great Dane and she was an amputee, I thought, 'this is my dog. This dog was meant to be mine,'" Kazazic recalled.

That was a year ago. Ten prosthetic legs later, Rosie the three-legged Great Dane - who is a fast grower - has turned out to be much more than a pet. She's Maja's constant companion, always watching to see if she needs her.

"She's absolutely always in tune with me. I really think my anxiety levels have gone down tremendously, just by her presence. Nothing else," she said.

Anxiety lingers with Kazazic after she experienced a bomb blast in her native Bosnia during the war in the 1990s. Kazazic was critically injured, but she survived. Her friends did not. At 16-year-old, her mangled leg became infected.

It was through the efforts of international rescuer Sally Becker, Kazazic was evacuated out of Bosnia. Doctors couldn't save her leg, but they saved her life.

Years later, she is an in-demand as a motivational speaker. She's also a runner, plays golf and wind surfs. She has a great prosthetic leg, and so does Rosie. In fact, they have the same technician at Hanger Prosthetics.

Kazazic said she was reluctant to get a service dog at first, but Rosie has been a life-changer. She's a source of comfort and security - waking her up from nightmares and helping her cope with panic attacks.

"Any time now I get anxious, I literally go down with her and I lay down and I hug her, and I listen, actually to her heartbeat, and her breathing... and it just calms me down," Kazazic explained.

Now, Rosie is learning how to retrieve items for Kazazic, who doesn't wear her prosthetic when she sleeps. And like her owner, Rosie is testing her athletic limits, even doing agility while wearing her prosthetic.

Faithful service dog and steadfast companion - Kazazic said she never could have imagined what Rosie has added to her life.

"It created this whole new level of love, loyalty, trust and support I actually didn't know existed. I love this little baby," she said.

To find out more about Maja Kazazic and her story, visit her website, http://majakazazic.com/, her Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/MajaSpeaks/, or Rosie's Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/rosiethegreatdane/.