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Hang glider takes best friend on paw-sitively thrilling ride

Dan McManus and his service dog Shadow hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, on July 22. McManus suffers from anxiety and Shadow's presence and companionship help him to manage the symptoms. The two have been flying together for about nine years with a specially-made harness for Shadow.
Dan McManus and his service dog Shadow hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, on July 22. McManus suffers from anxiety and Shadow's presence and companionship help him to manage the symptoms. The two have been flying together for about nine years with a specially-made harness for Shadow.Jim Urquhart / Reuters

By Jim Urquhart, Reuters

   Dan McManus is a professional paragliding and hang gliding instructor in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has been flying for about 37 years and he can be found most days catching the breeze at the flight park on a mountain ridge at the south end of the Salt Lake Valley.

   However, in recent years he has also been joined on many flights by his service dog Shadow. McManus suffers from a general anxiety disorder but manages to keep many of the symptoms in check with the constant companionship of his Australian cattle dog.

Dan McManus secures the harness for his service dog Shadow.Jim Urquhart / Reuters

While flying itself has been a calming pursuit, he soon found out that his service dog never wanted to be away from him (a bit of separation anxiety for Shadow). The dog had even been to known to try to hold onto McManus’ boots with his teeth in order to get in the air. “It felt like he wanted to keep me safe.”

Dan McManus and his service dog Shadow hang glide together.Jim Urquhart / Reuters

   Around nine years ago McManus had a specialty harness made for Shadow, and the two have been flying together since. “This is home. He would rather be here than anywhere else. This is his freedom,” McManus said. Read the full story.

Dan McManus and his service dog Shadow hang glide together.Jim Urquhart / Reuters

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