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Touching photos show the incredible bond between an autistic boy and his loyal service dog.

Nine-year-old James Isaac, of Wellington, New Zealand, recently had to go to the hospital for an MRI, and his dog, Mahe, refused to leave his side.

In order to undergo the MRI scan, James had to be placed under general anesthesia.

Photographer Louise Goossens captured Mahe, who was trained by Assistance Dogs New Zealand, laying in the bed beside James before and after his procedure.

The powerful photos, in which Mahe shows what it means to be a service dog, have quickly gone viral.

James' mother, Martha Isaac, said she's been "completely blown away" by how the photos have spread across the world.

"Mahe has changed our lives so much. He is a real part of the family now," she told Today.

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