UT student, service dog gaining national attention

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Elroy, a Knoxville dog, is gaining national attention for his service. He is being recognized for how he saves UT student Lauren Armstrong's life.

Lauren Armstrong with her service dog, Elroy / Source: WVLT News

"I still can't believe I'm on the cover of a national magazine," Lauren said.

Lauren and Elroy graced the cover of Parade.

"He's the celebrity. He's the star," Lauren said of Elroy.

Lauren was born with a hearing impairment that left her profoundly deaf. Without her implants, she can't hear the everyday sounds like an alarm clock or phone. Elroy is her ears.

"Even if he's not alerting me to something, he's looking at a sound, and it ques me to look at where he's looking," Lauren said.

Tiffany Denyer with Wilderwood Service Dogs, said caregivers like Elroy go through more than 50 days of training before starting their jobs.

"They have to go through as conceivable of a variety of things that we as trainers can put them through," Denyer said.

Lauren said, "It's not wrong to ask for a service dog, if you really need a service dog because they will radically change your life," Lauren said.

Elroy, Lauren said, can be her best friend, but he also does his job.

"He can be my best friend and my companion, and he can also work his job for me and let me be independent," Lauren said.

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