1. ITV Report

How this trainee police puppy 'transformed' a little girl's life

Credit: ITV West Country

A young girl born with a condition which meant her legs and arms did not develop properly has formed a special relationship with a puppy she is helping train to become a police dog.

8 year old Marina Pritchard from Okehampton says Tag is her best friend.

Even though he's only 8 months old, Tag seems to sense that he needs to be gentle around Marina.

She wears special blades which mean she can walk, run and jump. Perfect for keeping up with a lively puppy.

Marina's mother said the bond between the two had helped improve Marina's confidence.

Marina has had a special relationship with Tag from day one. Tag knows when Marina and her brother, Seth, are on their way home from school and waits at the gate to greet them.

Marina has always loved animals, but her relationship with Tag has improved her confidence.

– Jo Pritchard
Credit: ITV West Country

The pair's special bond was noticed during a recent puppy training session at Devon and Cornwall Police headquarters in Exeter when canine development officer Paul Glennon noticed that Tag showed unusual sensitivity and gentleness when interacting with the little girl.

He said: "It was clear to me straight away at our police puppy training days that Tag and Marina were very close.

"Tag is an intelligent and calm puppy and adores Marina."

This is probably one of the most special relationships that I've ever witnessed.

It's just magical to see.

– Paul Glennon, Devon & Cornwall Police Canine Officer
Credit: ITV West Country

Tag will go on to join the police force when he's a little older.

Marina says she'll miss him - but if she has another dog she'd like a smaller one that can sleep on her bed.

Credit: ITV West Country