Sparrow the Service Dog Has Special Meet-and-Greet With Chewbacca

By STEPHANIE OFFICER
Copyright (c) 2018 CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

You could call it the moment when beauty met beast.

During a recent vacation, couple Irving Walker and Libbi Mattick took to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. And their service dog, Sparrow, got to meet one of her favorite characters — Chewbacca from "Star Wars."

"You see these things floating around on the internet and stuff and sometimes you think, well, my dogs done cute things like that but no one ever sees it," Walker told InsideEdition.com.

Walker says the meeting happened while in a private room away from the public. He says it was a nice treat for a pup that works so hard.

"They're service dogs, they're not supposed to react to anything, but when you get into a situation like that where it’s a private room and a private space, it's OK to let her be a dog for a few minutes as opposed to working and stuff, so we let her off duty as it were," Irving said.

Mattick had been wanting a service dog, and the British couple first met Sparrow in 2017 while also on a Disney World vacation.

"We saw a group training. We ended up meeting this trainer we were working with and we became friends with them. Not ever really thinking that we could have a service dog," Walker recalled.

"In England, there aren't many organizations that work for medical alert, which is what Libbi needs. There's a couple of charities but the waiting list is so, so long."

They continued working with their friends at Expanding Intelligence, a Florida-based group that provides service dogs for those with psychiatric disabilities.

"The person Sparrow was actually supposed to be going to, that partnership didn't end up working out. When they come to matching dogs, it's really about personality,” Walker stated.

"The more we spent time with her, the more we realized how much it could help Libbi. We looked about how to get her back to the U.K. and what the access laws in the U.K. were because we didn't know about that, and it worked out that we could do it."

Walker says Sparrow has learned that when Mattick covers her face with her hands, she may be in distress.

"That’s one of Sparrow’s things to alert to. Libbi does that, it’s a sign of anxiety and stress. She’s actually trained to go up and sort of nudge your hand away so you come out of it.”

For about a year, their lives have been filled with special moments like the one with Chewbacca.

Since the meeting was such a success, both Mattick and Walker say they’re now going to buy Sparrow some "Star Wars" toys.

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