A World War II veteran celebrating his 100th birthday on Saturday got a sweet surprise when he found out a puppy training to be a service dog had been named after him.
Norval Nichols, who goes by Sgt. Nick, asked people to donate to Rockwall-based Patriot PAWS, a nonprofit that trains and pairs service dogs with veterans who have disabilities or post-traumatic stress, in lieu of gifts. [[403277646,C]]
Nichols, who lives in Plano, is partially blind and can't have a service dog, according to his daughter Cheryl Nichols.
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Service dogs go through two years of training with Patriot PAWS, and their owners also have to go through training to learn how to properly interact with them, Nichols said.
Nick's limited eyesight would make it difficult for him to learn the various hand signals used to give the dog commands, his daughter said.
Still, Nick wanted someone else to have the opportunity to be helped by a service dog. [[398916171,C]]
"He knows what it feels like to have special needs," his daughter said.
Nick has started a GoFundMe page to raise the $34,000 necessary to train a service dog. So far, he's raised about $5,800.
And on Saturday, he learned the puppy he's fundraising for will always go by the name Sgt. Nick.