PHOENIX (KSAZ) - It was a match made in heaven from the very beginning. The special bond between a young woman and her dog -- both hurting and both helping each other heal.
"She's absolutely in tune with me."
And always watching to see if Maja needs her.
"I really think my anxiety levels have gone down tremendously just by her presence. Nothing else."
Maja has lingering anxiety and nightmares from the war in her native Bosnia. She was 16 when a bomb went off, killing her friends and taking her leg.
Now living in Tampa, Florida, Maja is a motivational speaker. She runs, golfs, wind surfs -- she has a great prosthetic leg and so does Rosie.
"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."
Maja was reluctant to get a service dog at first, but Rosie has been a life-changer -- a source of comfort when things turn dark.
"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."
Now Rosie is learning to retrieve items for Maja, who posts her progress on her very own Facebook page. And like Maja, Rosie tests her athletic limits -- even doing agility feats with her prosthetic!
A faithful service dog, a steadfast companion. Maja says she never could have imagined it.
"It created this whole new level of love, loyalty, trust and support I actually didn't know existed. I love this little baby."
According to a University of California at Los Angeles report, dogs and humans have had therapeutic relationships for more than 12,000 years. One of the first therapy dogs in the U.S. was Skeezer, a permanent resident at a children's hospital in Michigan in 1970.
You can learn more about Maja and Rosie at facebook.com/RosieTheGreatDane