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A Second Chance

Once unwanted, Chance is now a dog with a purpose

A Second Chance

Purpose

May 20th, 2018 · 9 Comments · Uncategorized

“The meaning of life is to find your gift.  The purpose of life is to give it away” -Pablo Picasso

 

Happy Saturday everypawdy!

Let me begin by saying that when I signed up for this therapy dog gig, I had NO IDEA I would be so busy!  Between dog school (yes I am still taking classes because I LOVE to learn new things), library visits, going to school with my mom, family happenings and special end-of-the-year events at school, I am one busy dog!  I have been going to school with my mom on Fridays and every Friday there is a theme and I do my best dress accordingly.  From holiday themes to Disney and even color-themed days (yes I proudly wore PINK), I try my best to fit in.  My favorite spirit day was crazy sock day….my mom’s teaching partner Ms. Rachel brought me some crazy socks to wear and the kids really found it amusing.  One Friday a month there is a whole school assembly and my mom and I always sit in the back.  The assembly is led by our amazing music teacher and the kids celebrate special things that happen throughout the month.  From playing homemade instruments to singing together as an entire school, everyone looks forward to the assemblies.  At the end of the assembly, Mrs. Brandyberry shows a slideshow and always includes a few pictures of me.  When the kids see me they all yell my name and turn back to look at me.  My mom says she gets choked up each and every time.  What a lucky dog I am to have so many wonderful people, big and small, who love me!

Being a “cool dog, school dog” is RUFF!  The kids all know I am there on Fridays and they start asking about me on Wednesdays.  I’ve received some really special letters in my mailbox and on the days I am not at school, my mom says the kids all ask how I am. When students write letters to me, I always write them back.  We now have an entire binder of letters from students!  I even have a few regular pen pals who write to me almost every week.  One of my mom’s groups was asked to visit the senior citizens at their monthly meeting at the nearby recreation center and do you know what?  They asked if I could come with them because I help them feel more confident!  I’ve also been asked to attend some special events before and after school and I was even on the news again!  I’m no stranger to the news now.  I was on the news back when I was found (I call those the “dark days”), I was also on the news when I was adopted and AGAIN when the Natural Pet hosted my benefit and we raised money to help other injured strays like me.  A nice man from the local news came out and followed my mom and I around school one morning to show everyone what I do and how I help students.  My mom and I were both a little nervous but the kids really enjoyed sharing how they feel when I am at school.  The best part of the day was when I got to do an interview with the principal Mr. Kostyack….I was allowed to sit on the couch next to him!  He said with my celebrity status, I should start wearing sunglasses. When my story aired, it was a proud moment for both my parents and me.  (Click to watch click to watch . I am thankful each and every single day that I have found my purpose and am able to return the same kindness and support that was once given to me.

“Because dogs live in the present. Because dogs don’t hold grudges. Because dogs let go of all their anger daily, hourly, and never let it fester.  They absolve and forgive with each passing minute.  Every turn of the corner is the opportunity for a clean slate. Every bounce of the ball brings joy and the promise of a fresh chase.”  (from Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley)

As the school year quickly comes to an end, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting lately.  My first year as a “cool dog, school dog” has been a success and I look forward to a fresh start to a new year in the fall.  Some of the fourth graders I work with have been asking if I will be there on the last day of school.  They will be off to the middle school next year and one student even said that he was sad to think that we wouldn’t see each other again.  I reassured him that we would probably run into each other at some point and that he can always send letters to me at school.  I’m a dog so I live in the moment but I’ve been doing some thinking lately.  The fourth grade students I met this year (and will only know for a year) will probably never forget me.  Whether I work with them directly or just greet them in the hallway, they will always remember me and my story.  That’s a pretty big accomplishment for a dog who was once lost and has now found his purpose.  What happened in my past is something I will never forget but it has changed me for the better.  I may only have three legs, walk with a limp, and still have some fears of my own to conquer but I am an optimist.  If there’s one thing I hope kids learn from me it’s that mistakes and challenges you face in life only build character.  I am a much different dog now than I was in the past and the right people have helped me learn to trust and to stay positive.  A lot of the kids still say that they feel bad for me because I only have three legs.  My mom reassures them that the tough times I went through only helped me get to where I am today.  I am lucky to be surrounded by so many people who care about me and have helped me along the way.  They looked beyond my wounds and saw something in me that I didn’t even really know I had.  I was given the opportunity to forgive and forget and I took that opportunity and ran with it.  Maybe if people were more like dogs and knew their purpose then the world would be a better place.  There would be no grudges, no anger, no violence:  just lots of tail wags and belly rubs and treats….lots of treats (hopefully they are banana-flavored treats).

Love always,

Chance

Celebrating Right to Read Week at school

Ms. Jean helped show me what to do during a tornado drill

Ending the year with book studies

What I do best

Assembly selfie

Crazy sock day

Celebrity shades

Interview with the bossman on the news

Will you be my Valentine?

Disney spirit day…they were really Minnie ears but I wouldn’t smile unless mom hid the bow.

 

 

HOPPY EASTER!!!

Had to say goodbye to the snowflakes

Headed to school

Superhero spirit day…superhero bandana and collar and leash

15 minutes of reading every night makes anyone a better reader

I have my own bed at school

I don’t just help with reading…writing too!

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A Year of Chance

January 15th, 2018 · 8 Comments · Uncategorized

 

“As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was about

to happen.” -Winnie the Pooh

Happy Saturday Everypawdy!

I’m sorry I haven’t written in a really long time but life as a therapy dog sure is RUFF!!  By “ruff”, I don’t mean challenging but “ruff” meaning SO BUSY!!  I am now going to school with my mom about once a week and I’m learning more and more about my job with each visit.  The kids all seem to really like me and boy do I like them!!  My mom’s school has a superhero theme and the kids see me as a real life superhero.  I even have a superhero collar and leash!  On the days I visit school, I greet the teachers and students in the halls or as they enter for breakfast and everyone is always happy to see me.  My mom says the kids work really hard on their reading and writing on the days I am there. They usually sit in a circle on the carpet and I lay in the middle.  Sometimes they pet me with one hand while they write or read with their other hand and sometimes I help out by placing my head or my paw on their book so they don’t lose their page.  The kids say I inspire them to do their best on their work because I always work hard and try my best on whatever I do.  I have learned to really trust the kids: when they walk around me they are very mindful of where my tail and my feet are so they don’t accidentally step on me and they are always so gentle when they pet me.  When the kids work at the table, I like to lay under the table and rest my head on their feet while they work and they are so careful not to kick me.  I have attended staff meetings, district meetings, special events (where I get to meet parents), assemblies and even the Halloween parade…last week I even witnessed my first fire drill!  My mom says she is so proud of me because I am so brave: the noisy kids, ringing bell, busy hallways and hectic schedule don’t phase me at all.  I tell her it’s because the kids see me as a superhero so I have to be brave.

One of my favorite things about school is my mailbox.  My mom and dad made me my very own mailbox and the kids can use it to send me “tail mail”.  I really like to read what the kids have to say.  They think I am brave and strong and the best dog ever.  They draw me pictures and send me cards too.  I write letters back and stamp them with a special stamp (it’s a paw print with only 3 toes!).  Sometimes the kids ask me questions and other times they tell me how I help them in school.  My mom keeps all of the cards and letters and takes notes on what we do on the days I’m there.  She says MAYBE someday, we can write a book together.

On January 5th I celebrated the anniversary of my “gotcha day”.  Can you believe I’ve been in my new home for a full year already?  Boy, has one year flown by fast!  My mom says my whole life has been a series of chances taken by people who care about me.  First off, what are the chances that a dog like me could survive the injuries I suffered and end up in the yard of someone kind enough to help me?  When I arrived at the emergency clinic, I was in pretty bad shape and nobody really knew for sure that I would make it.  Dr. Talbott and his team took a chance on helping me: they knew it would be a long, expensive road to recovery and they committed to helping me get through it even though my injuries were pretty severe and there was no guarantee I would recover.  The generous people who donated money to pay for my care also took a chance on me, not knowing if I would recover.  Ms. Cindy and the people who assisted with my adoption took a chance on me: they saw something in me that led them to choose the perfect home where I could return some of the good that was offered to me.  My mom took a chance on me by contacting the clinic as soon as she saw my story: she had her heart set on adopting a dog that could become a therapy dog and she felt in her heart that I could be that dog even though she didn’t know anything about me.  My dad didn’t even know right away that my mom contacted the clinic but he didn’t put up a fight when she told him a few days later: he knew there was room in their home for one more and trusted I could be the dog they were hoping for.  They didn’t know much about me as far as where I came from, what kind of life I led, how I would get along with the other fur members of the family,  or how trainable I was.  There was no guarantee at the time that I would make it to become a therapy dog or how good I would be at my job.  At that time, my mom took a big chance on the idea of bringing me to school because there was no promise that the principal or other teachers would accept me.  Fortunately, everything fell in place like it was all meant to be.  I’ve accomplished quite a lot in just one short year.  To celebrate, my mom and dad threw a little PAWTY to thank the special team of people who love me and have helped me get to where I am today.

The “PAWTY” was yesterday and it was the best day EVER!  So many of the people I know and love came to visit me!  I would not be where I am today without the tremendous love and support of some very special people.  First and foremost I have a REALLY big family who loves me and welcomed me with open arms and have cheered me on along the way.  I am welcome to visit family for holidays and special events and my grandma and grandpa never mind letting me hang out with them and my golden cousins.  The house gets pretty chaotic with 6 dogs but they never seem to mind.  Without the help of my golden cousins, I wouldn’t know how to act like a dog.  The person who received the happiest welcome was Ms. Cindy: I have to thank her for following her heart and placing me in the best home I could ever ask for and I hope she knows that she will always have a very special place in my heart.  I recognized her immediately.  I was also very happy to see Mr. Bruce: he is my very furvorite Facebook friend (we have some pretty in-depth conversations).  My teacher Ms. Chris and her husband Rick were able to attend my pawty: after all, Ms. Chris is the one who helped me become so super smart and without her help, I wouldn’t have passed my therapy dog test so quickly.  Guess who else attended my pawty?  My “fur”ends from the Natural Pet!  Ms. Chris and Mr. Mark and Ms. Nancy brought some pretty special presents….they sure do know me well!  My mom was just pulling in to their store when she received the call saying I was coming home so they have been a part of my story from literally the very beginning and I have them to thank for keeping me healthy.  My mom works with some pretty special ladies at school who attended my pawty: Ms. Rachel (she brings me bananas), Ms. Susan and Ms. Lisa have accepted me as just another member of their team even though it means that sometimes adjustments in schedules or activities need to be slightly altered.

The most special visitor to my pawty was Ms. Sarah, Dr. Talbott’s daughter.  It is unfortunate that Dr. Talbott isn’t around to see what I’ve done with the second chance he’s given to me but I’m glad Ms. Sarah is here to see it.  She cried when she saw me and said they were both happy and sad tears.  I was very happy to see her….some people you just never forget.  If it wasn’t for her persistence in convincing her dad to save me, I may not be here today to tell my story.  I promised her that with every smile I put on the faces of people I meet as a therapy dog, her dad’s good work will continue to live on.

I am the result of lots of caring people taking chances.  I hope I can teach my friends at school that even though taking chances can sometimes be scary, lots of chances are worth the taking.  When we open our hearts to scary things, we discover things we didn’t even know about ourselves and realize how strong and determined we can be to overcome obstacles we didn’t believe we could.  That’s love….love can get us through anything.

Love always,

Chance

 

Here are some pics from school and from my PAWTY….ENJOY!!!

My mailbox at school…I’m waiting for “Tail mail” from the kids!

I love my mom’s classroom…it’s like a home away from home!

 

 

 

I love my job!

Ms. Rachel brings me bananas on the days I visit school…she knows I just LOVE bananas!

My Halloween costume…yes I wore it to school for the parade!

Reading my “tail mail” from the kids at school.

I attended a special breakfast at school where I was able to meet parents for the first time. I had on my book bandana made by my friend Marietta!

Nobody told me that my new job included dressing up…I tolerate it just because it makes people smile.

Helping a little friend with opening Christmas presents.

Greeting the kids at school as they come in for breakfast.

Merry Christmas!

Ms. Cindy and Mr. Bruce were at the pawty…my furever friends.

Post-pawty snooze

Pawty cake…not for puppies.

I love Ms. Chris and Ms. Nancy! I’m so glad they came to the pawty!

Waiting for my banana after breakfast. I sit in front of the sink after I eat so my dad doesn’t forget.

Best Buddies

My homemade cupcake treat

 

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Superheroes

August 19th, 2017 · 9 Comments · Uncategorized

 

“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”  

-Christopher Reeve

Happy Saturday Everypawdy!

Chance here…haven’t written in quite some time because I have been SO BUSY!  Life as a tripawd is GREAT!  I have so much to tell everypawdy that I don’t even know where to begin!

I guess I should start with the big news (it’s difficult to keep it a secret any longer)…I passed my therapy dog test!  My parents drove me out to a place far away and a nice lady named Dianne asked me to do all sorts of things with my mom in a great big gym.  I could tell my mom was a little nervous and so was I but I did my best and passed with flying colors!  A nice lady from the local newspaper joined us and wrote a story about me in the newspaper!  I felt like a celebrity!  So now I am an official therapy dog and can go to school with my mom to help kids with their reading.  Once I passed my test, I started going to the library with my mom once a week to meet the kids in her school’s summer reading program.  I made so many friends and learned what it takes to be a reading dog!  One little girl was afraid of me at first because she is afraid of dogs in general but when she realized I was a tripawd she wasn’t afraid of me anymore!  My mom always laughs because most people don’t realize I am a tripawd until I walk away….they say hello and pet me and then when we walk away, they are shocked to see I’m missing a wheel.  Do they not think that tripawds can be therapy dogs too?  Do they think that a dog with only three legs could be any less amazing than a dog with four legs?  I just don’t get it.

Going to the library once a week with my mom kept me pretty busy this summer.  My parents try to take me to as many “dog friendly” places as possible.  So far I have been to Lowe’s, Home Depot, Petitti’s Garden Center, the Apple Store,  Barnes and Noble, and even car shopping!  I love to meet new people so my mom says it is good practice for me to be out an about in public.  I don’t mind where we go…I just love to go!  A few weeks ago my aunt was in the hospital and sent to a rehab facility.  My parents have taken me to visit her three times and each time I go I meet some of the patients and staff there.  Everyone seems happy to see me and I love to make them smile.  The director has even asked my parents to bring me in on a regular basis.  I guess you could say it’s my first real “gig” as a therapy dog and I can’t wait!  I’ve really started to learn what my job is…some of my new friends are in wheelchairs so when I see them I sit and lean against their wheelchair so I am close enough for them to pet me instead of lying down on the floor.  I love when people hold my paw so I’ve learned to be more gentle when I offer it and I’ve had to conquer my fear of the elevator and shiny slippery floors:  all in a day’s work for this tripawd therapy dog!

So my mom says everywhere she goes lately, there’s talk of superheroes.  She says the theme for her school this year is superheroes and I’ve been thinking a lot about what a superhero is and what it takes to be one.  I love the quote made by SUPERMAN himself (Christopher Reeve): “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere in spite of overwhelming obstacles”.  Mom says I’m a superhero because of all I’ve gone through in the past year.  It was just this past November that I was a scared stray dog barely walking on two good limbs.  I’d been shot in one leg and my front paw was stuck in a coyote trap.  Both injuries were badly infected and I was cold and thin and scared.  If someone hadn’t cared enough to find me help, I wouldn’t be here.  Despite the bad shape I was in, I was determined to live.  My superheroes are the kind people who found me and the amazing vets and techs at the emergency clinic who took care of me for over two months.  Without them, I wouldn’t be here.  Miss Cindy is my hero for looking beyond my injuries and finding me a home with people who knew in their gut that I could become the amazing dog they thought I had the potential to be.  My teacher Miss Chris at Woofwise is my superhero for teaching me the things I needed to know to become a therapy dog and my Aunt Chris McCoy and her staff at The Natural Pet Enrichment Center are my superheroes for helping me get strong and healthy with a good diet and lots of yummy treats.  My family (both human and canine/feline) is full of superheroes: my mom and dad never lost hope that I could conquer anything and spending time at my grandparents’ with my golden retriever cousins is helping me learn how to be a dog and to not be so afraid of other dogs.  Fellow therapy dog Gabby  (pack leader) has accepted me and is teaching me how to play. My mom says she knows I am a hero because I’ve inspired so many people to do good things.  From the amazing customers at the Natural Pet who donated money to my Second Chance Fund at the emergency clinic to a nice lady named Jean who donated money to purchase a piece in my name to put in our garden, a nice lady name Mike who made me a blanket with my name on it and my new friend Marietta who is making me some festive bandanas, I hope I continue to inspire people to do good things not just for me but for others.

I don’t think of myself as a superhero but my mom says to the kids at school and to the people I visit at the rehab facility, I am a superhero.  I am just a dog who has overcome some pretty big obstacles that have left me somewhat damaged but not defeated.  In less than 6 months in my new home I have passed three tests to earn the titles of Canine Good Citizen, AKC Tricks Dog, and therapy dog.  I did not let my dark past get in the way of a bright future.  I approach every new thing with a positive attitude and do not let my disabilities keep me from doing what makes me happy.  Do you think even superheroes sometimes get scared?  I still have some challenges to overcome:  I am still not quite comfortable meeting new canine friends.  My mom says I am very much like some of her students who have difficulty making friends at school and that maybe we could help each other conquer that fear.  I still have bad dreams that bring back dark memories of my past and I still get scared that someone will hurt me when I think I’ve done something wrong.  The past is difficult to forget but I have so many great memories to start making in my new life and my new job.  If kids want to think of me as a superhero, I would be honored to play the part.

Love always,

Chance

Here are some pics from my favorite summer moments:

I went back to visit my friends at the emergency clinic who cared for me. I was able to add funds to The Second Chance fund the clinic set up to help other strays like me. The money was donated by the amazing customers at The Natural Pet Enrichment Center…thanks everypawdy!

Here I am at work at the library listening to a student read. The kids don’t quite know it but I am learning my job just like they are learning to read. We are helping each other!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helping out students at the library!

 

 

I love my new job!

 

I like big books and I cannot lie! My visit to Barnes and Noble was so much fun!

I love going to the office with my dad….sporting my super dog bandana!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course life is not all about work…my favorite new toy!

Therapy dog certification day…it was Father’s Day and it makes me happy to know that my dad is so proud of me!

My new friend Jean and her gift (the orange flower) for our garden. It’s in my favorite spot.

My pack at grandma and grandpa’s house. I’m on the far right and clockwise from me are Eugene, Riley, Lucy, Gabby, and Daisy. These are the friends I feel safe with.

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New Beginnings

April 2nd, 2017 · 12 Comments · Uncategorized

Happy Spring Everypawdy!  My mom tells me that spring is a time of change and of new beginnings.  Quickly fading away are the dark, cold days of winter and fast arriving are warmer, sunnier spring days with all the sights and sounds that mark this lovely new beginning.  The air is still crisp but full of birdsong as summer birds return to build nests and raise their young.  The grass is growing despite the muddy conditions in my yard thanks to cleansing showers that are still washing away remnants of winter.  Flowers are slowly emerging from the ground and will soon blanket my yard with bright hues of red, yellow, purple and orange.

As the wonders of spring emerge, I too am emerging.  Gone are the cold lonely days of my past and here to stay are the bright, sunnier days of my future.  Just as certain as spring’s annual return, my spirit has always been my guiding light…it is what has helped me prevail through even the most difficult times.  My body is healed but I will always carry the physical reminders of my troubled past and that’s okay…I’ve adjusted to life as a tripawd just fine.  Now that I have been in my new home for 12 weeks, my mind is healing.  I am certain a bright future lies ahead but there are still a few memories that my brain is slow to leave behind.  These memories are like the last of the winter birds who wait until they are certain there will be no more cold weather before finally heading to cooler climates.  I have memories I just cannot forget and fears that I just can’t let go of but my family is helping me put my past behind me, conquer my fears and focus on the future.  I am proud to say I am “blossoming” into the amazing dog I always knew I could be and the amazing dog my family believed I would be.

Before I get to the really BIG news I have to share, let me just tell you about my field trip on St. Patrick’s Day.  I got to go to SCHOOL with my mom….the real kind of school where kids go to learn.  I have been going to dog school for about 6 weeks now and I’ve been doing a pretty good job.  My mom and dad work on my “homework” with my every night and we’ve been working really hard on the 10 items I have to learn in order to become a Canine Good Citizen.  Well, St. Patrick’s Day was a work day for teachers only so my mom asked the principal if it would be okay if I went with her to school so we could practice some things in preparation for the big test.  When we arrived, I was so excited UNTIL I walked through the door and saw nothing but white…shiny…tile…floors…….EVERYWHERE!!!  I panicked because I had never see floors like that anywhere!  I thought I was on a frozen pond and didn’t know what to do (please stop and picture the image of Bambi in your head).  Thank goodness my mom and dad put some Pawfriction on my feet to help me on slippery floors.  (Fellow tripawds, check this stuff out on Facebook!) Once I realized I wasn’t going to slide, I was ok with the floors.  In fact, I was ok with most everything at school EXCEPT for the Principal’s Office!  What a scary place!  No wonder why the kids don’t like to go visit the Principal!  I worked on my manners as I met new friends, practiced loose leash walking (in the carpeted hallway thank goodness) and I even did a great job with computer carts being rolled past me and custodians pushing big garbage cans.  It was the most exciting day EVER!  My mom said once I become a therapy dog, I can go with her to lots of places to visit.  Wow…that will be just pawsome!

After my field trip to school, I had just one week left before the big Canine Good Citizen test.  At that point my mom and I were just starting to speak the same language regarding loose leash walking.  We practiced that a lot on my field trip and while we were there it finally clicked!  So each day after that, sometimes more than once each day, we walked….and walked….and walked until we managed to get on the same page. Of the ten test items, the ones that posed a problem were the loose leash walking, supervised separation (I really love my mom and dad and like to be close to them at all times), and meeting another human and dog.  One of the memories from my past that I just can’t let go of is other unfamiliar big dogs.  I am afraid of them.  I love my Golden cousins at my Grandma and Grandpa’s house but I am afraid of strange dogs.  I want to meet them and be friends with them but I just don’t know how without getting scared first.  I tried to meet a neighbor’s dog and I just couldn’t do it.  There are dogs that live all around me but they scare me when they bark at me and make mean faces at me through the fence.  My mom and dad have been taking me to the park to practice walking and getting used to neighborhood things like strollers, kids, and other dogs.  I haven’t met any other dogs yet but they are not so scary as I am learning that seeing a scary dog means I get TREATS.  But, the only problem is:  when completing the Canine Good Citizen test, there are NO TREATS ALLOWED! Oh boy….I was certain I was done for.

Okay so now to the good news…the great news….the BIG news!  I PASSED THE CGC TEST!!  I am now proud to say I am officially a CANINE GOOD CITIZEN!  This means I can begin going places to practice for the really big test I have to take to become a certified therapy dog.  I can’t believe it!  My teacher Chris at Woof Wise Dog Training was really proud of me.  She said not many dogs pass the test the first time around but my mom and dad and I worked REALLY hard on the ten test items and we do have a pretty special bond.  I really gave the test 100%…I really did my best!  I have to thank my little buddies Lucy and Eugene for being so patient with me since all this practice takes up a lot of time that they normally spend with my dad (plus they don’t get to eat as many treats as I do, which I know probably doesn’t seem fair).

My mom says this is just one more lesson I can teach her kids at school: perseverance pays off, no matter what obstacles stand in your way.  As long as you have people around you who love you for who you are, you can do anything you set your mind to!  I have a lot more work to do before becoming a polished therapy dog but I am beginning to believe I can do anything.  This is my new beginning…this is my second chance at life and I’m not going to waste a minute worrying about my past!

Until next time…hugs and kisses! 🙂

Love,

Chance

And for your viewing pleasure….here are some photos of my latest adventures!  Enjoy!

 

 

 

I said goodbye to winter but was lucky enough to enjoy one more REALLY snowy day…I will miss the snow 🙁

Hello SPRING! Warm weather means I get to go to the park to practice my bravery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you see me…I’m sleeping in class (hope the teacher doesn’t hear me snoring)!

Taking a lunch break at school…when is recess?

Just checking out the Children’s Garden…it is beautiful! Note to self: this is NOT a place to go potty!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here I am offering my therapeutic services to combat stress caused by technology issues.

My dad and Eugene helping to apply some PawFriction to my feet. I’ve only used it twice but so far I think it helps! Check it out!

I KNEW I could do it…I’m so proud to be a Canine Good Citizen!

 

 

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Lessons

February 25th, 2017 · 6 Comments · Uncategorized

Happy Saturday Everypawdy! I have officially been in my forever home now for 7 weeks and a tripawd for 3 months. I am quickly learning that I can do pretty much anything a dog with four legs can do (both good things and not-so-good things). People who meet me don’t always realize at first that I only have three legs. In fact, my family and I are finding out that it’s my missing toe on my front foot that is more of a hindrance than my missing leg because it was an important toe for balance and it is on the same side as my missing leg. Don’t worry…it doesn’t stop me from doing what I want to do!

Let me first start by telling you about the amazing benefit The Natural Pet Enrichment Center held for me on February 11th! My parents felt that since there were so many people that followed my story on the news, they wanted to give my “fans” an opportunity to meet me and see how well I am doing. I had such a great time! So many friends, family and beloved customers of the store came in to meet me and some of them even brought their fur friends! Chris and Mark McCoy, the store’s wonderful owners, and their staff advertised my benefit, organized a 50/50 raffle, raffled off some bags of cat and dog food and set out jars for monetary donations. Diane Weinmann, animal communicator and customer of the store generously donated her time to speak with fur friends and their families. She donated all of the proceeds to my cause, The Second Chance Fund which was set up by the Lorain County Animal Emergency Clinic where the injured me was cared for in November. The donations from the raffle and monetary donations were also added to the fund for a grand donation total of $823! This money will be used to treat the medical needs of stray animals who come into the clinic so they can be placed into rescue groups that will help them find furever homes. My foster mom Cindy and her husband Bruce also came to visit me at the benefit. Boy was I glad to show them the brand new me! My parents take me to The Natural Pet often because it is a great place for me to meet new friends and to work on my manners. I love everypawdy there so much…they are like family to me! If you want to see some pictures from my benefit (thank you Elsa!) and pictures of my visits to The Natural Pet, just visit the store’s Facebook page (just search by typing in The Natural Pet Enrichment Center) or watch my friend Dave Nethers’ news clip http://fox8.com/2017/02/11/chance-the-dog-gives-back-to-those-who-helped-save-him-from-bullet-trap-wounds/

Last week was a very big week for me because I started school! I am taking classes to be a Canine Good Citizen at Woof Wise Dog Training with Chris Lantzer. My parents went with me for a private lesson with Chris a week before school started last Tuesday. I had the opportunity to show Chris what I know before class started. She said I am smart enough to skip a beginner’s obedience class and go right to the Canine Good Citizen Class. I like to learn and my mom and dad practice my “homework” with me every single day (sometimes twice). Chris said there is a test I have to pass in March in order to be a Canine Good Citizen…I’m worried I won’t pass the test! In order to pass I have to learn how to focus on my parents, not get excited to meet new people and dog friends (and I LOVE to meet new friends), stay in one spot while my mom walks away and even be ok with a stranger when my mom or dad go out of sight! I have only been with my family for a few weeks so I am still learning that when they leave they ALWAYS come back and I get a little worried when I can’t see them. I cannot do everything the same way dogs with four legs do so we have to make some adjustments. I cannot walk in tight circles so when I “heel” I have to walk behind my handler and I get tired of sitting for long periods of time so I do most everything lying down. The most challenging obstacle for me right now is walking on a leash. I have a bad habit…I pull on the leash but I can’t help it! I get so excited whenever I think I am going somewhere! I am not very graceful when I walk and my gait is slightly different than most tripawds thanks to that dang missing toe. We are taking baby steps with the leash walking. I try my best but sometimes my nose gets carried away and takes me to places faster than my mom likes. My mom says that I cannot go to school with her until I pass the test so now I know how much pressure her students must feel about passing tests! My teacher Chris says I do a pretty good job in class and she thinks I have a lot of potential as a therapy dog. She made me feel better by saying that very few dogs pass the test the first time (there is only 4 weeks of school before the test) but I can take the class a second time to perfect my skills and then retake the test. I like to think of myself as an “A+” student so I will work really hard to pass the test the first time.

My mom and I working on “watch me” in dog class as my dad looks on

 

Me practicing “stay” in the backyard.

 

I’ve also learned some lessons at home. First, I’ve learned that my parents ALWAYS come back to get me, wherever I am. Sometimes my mom takes Lucy and Eugene and me to my grandma and grandpa’s house to hang out with the “Golden Girls” for the day and my dad drops me off for my water therapy once a week. I hate when they leave me but I am so excited when they return and we ALWAYS come back home at the end of the day. I’ve also learned that the cats are the boss…I am not allowed to chase them and they must have the right of way at all times. They put me in my place when I get too close or act too crazy but if I am calm and quiet, they will let me get close to them. Bodie and I love our daily brushes in the mud room (he goes first of course). Last night I learned that thunderstorms are nothing to be scared of (even though Eugene thinks so) and the one lesson in the house I have to learn is that the basement is NOT as scary as it looks. I go upstairs to the bedroom just fine but the basement stairs still creep me out).

As always I’ve included some photos from this week:

WARNING: thou shalt not proceed in descending the steps when feline is present

 

Lesson: cats are friendly when you are on your best behavior

 

Even kitty beds can accommodate big dogs (but not at the same time it accommodates the kitty)

 

Practicing my therapy dog skills by helping Eugene survive the scary thunderstorm

 

Storms are NOT scary but the basement stairs ARE scary!

 

Doggy selfie (all 6 of us)

Until next time!
Hugs and kisses!

Love,
Chance

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