Ranger training with his new partner
As I walked the shelter looking at dogs for the "Canines With a Cause" program, I noticed a medium sized white dog who did not take his eyes off of me. He was smiling and wagging his tail, asking me to come over and say "hello".
Knowing this shelter kills over 18,000 companion animals per year, this is a very difficult task, making a choice on who will live or die is not an easy one. I knew this guy had to come with me. We had very little room left at the facility for big dogs, we just had to make this work somehow. He went into boarding for a few weeks, was neutered and vaccinated. He arrived at the facility dirty, stinky and happy as ever.
We had a veteran looking for a new service dog, his dog had recently passed away and he was ready for a new companion. Dennis had lost a leg from the knee down in Vietnam, he was a dog trainer in the army and had quite a bit of experience training dogs, a star student! Dennis asked to see the new dog I had spoke to him about, the young one with the big smile. We knew little about him with the exception of his amazing temperament.
The dog showed no fear of the wheelchair or Dennis, he kissed and leaned up against him. He was very attentive in class and did well for his first day. We knew it was a match! Ranger is now living with Dennis who welcomed him home with the much needed bath. They will begin formal training this Thursday and we're sure they will achieve service dog status in no time.
This is just one of many stories made possible by your contributions. The medical expenses to get these dogs ready their new homes is high, as are the ongoing issues we assist the veterans with for their important companions. On October 19, GlobalGiving.org is matching at 30% all online donations up to $1,000 per donor per project! There is $100,000 available in matching funds starting at 12:01 am EDT. They will match until 11:59pm EDT or until matching funds run out. This is a great way for you to help us continue our "Happy Tails" and grow your generous donations.
Thank you for your ongoing support, from Dennis, Ranger and all of those who have a better quality of life (two and four legged) because of you.
the smiling shelter dog