Earlier in 2019, Abbie Leonard, Rockport’s harbor master, and her dog, Wilson, were filmed for a video series that shows the bond between service and working dogs and their owners. The VetriScience Take Good Care Series is in its second season profiling dogs and their owners from New England and beyond, and showing how dogs and people take care of and love each other.
Wilson came into Leonard’s life 13 years ago after she nearly died from a parasite infection. She spent 40 weeks in the hospital as her body slowly recovered from the infection. Her family thought a dog would be good for companionship and getting Abbie outside when she was finally healed. Wilson has been by her side ever since, and her co-pilot as harbormaster for the past 10 years.
Abbie and Wilson connected immediately and she says the dog still has that instinct to give comfort to those in need as they patrol Rockport Harbor. They have helped paddle boarders and kayakers lost in fog, and the sight of Wilson is a relief for those who are scared or in stressful situations.
“He’s a steady presence that’s just always loving,” said Leonard, in a news release from VetriScience. “He brings everybody together. He gives some love and gets some love, and he always knows the people who need it the most.”