Sydney Collier: The poodle helping a paralyzed teen to the Paralympics

    (CNN)The face of next year's Paralympics could be a poodle.

    Five-year-old Journey is an unusual service dog, but then Sydney Collier is an unusual owner.
    Collier, 17, has just been crowned the leading young para-dressage rider in North America -- despite partial blindness, paralysis, and a series of brain surgeries.
      Last year, Collier was the youngest rider to reach the prestigious World Equestrian Games, though it was her standard poodle that stole the show.
        "When I first heard I was getting a service dog, my dad and I jokingly said: 'just as long as it's not a standard poodle,'" recalls Collier.
        "How weird would that be? You think of standard poodles and you think of the Eiffel Tower.
        "But Journey is amazing. The list of things he can do is probably longer than the list of things I can do."
        Kai Handt, the man in charge of the U.S. para-dressage team, tells CNN the dog was "more famous than the rider" at the World Equestrian Games in spite of his young owner's prowess.
        "They even gave the dog official credentials. He got plastered all over the press," remembers Handt.
        "It was different -- but it gets people to read about it and have a laugh. It doesn't have to be all that serious when you have a teenage rider out there competing, you can have some fun."

        'Take her home and pray'