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Heart Pawing Tales June 2012

Daisy…The Miracle Dog
By Beth Spiess

In May of 2010, my rescued Shetland Sheepdog was taken to the vet’s to be euthanized by her original owner. She had been overfed, and weighed a whopping 64 lbs. She had teeth problems, was heartworm positive, and could hardly walk. The vet refused, and surrendered her to Austin Sheltie Rescue. She was taken into foster by, to what is affectionately called the Smith Weight Loss Ranch. Because she was so heavy, it took almost a year of a strict diet and exercise to get her to the point to receive the heartworm treatment. She thrived under their care, and 14 months later was ready to be adopted.

I contacted Austin Sheltie Rescue in July, 2011, looking for a dog to replace my sheltie of 11 years, who was put to sleep in May of that year. Although I had chosen another dog on their website, when they brought Daisy for the home interview as an ambassador, it was love at first sight. Three weeks later, Daisy came to her fur-ever home.

I continued Daisy on a grain-free and green bean diet, and walked her regularly. She continued to lose weight, and now is 34 lbs, half the size she was when surrendered- instead of put to death.

In December, 2011, Daisy qualified as a service dog for me. I have bipolar disorder and Daisy reminds me to take my medications daily. I often suffer from terrible depression, she is key in getting me outside and exercising.  Daisy is a social and friendly girl and as a result, I’m meeting new people. She is my reason to get out of bed each day. My depression has lessened and I have lost 20 lbs. since adopting her.

In January, 2012, Daisy’s story was featured on CNN in a story about obese pets. She is a true star…and continues to shine as she is an inspiration to all rescues who get a second chance at life. I don’t know what I would do without her. She found a home where she is needed as much as she is wanted.

Mr. Tyson
Urbin Gonzalez

Mr. Tyson, is a 5 year old typical English bulldog.  He tends to sleep a lot and loves his food. When he was 6 months old I taught Mr. Tyson how to skateboard. Skateboarding is now his passion. He knows that his skateboard is kept in the trunk of my car. Everytime we go outside he sits by the trunk waiting for his skateboard. He rides daily and seems to love it!

By Evelyn Jaffe
Lance has received many hugs from children and adults, at the many sites we visit, which include public libraries, special education classes for children, senior centers and assisted/ skilled nursing facilities. Most recently, we visited the skilled nursing facility (SNF) of a local “retirement center”. One of the new residents with severe dementia, who has been uncommunicative the past several weeks, became very animated when Lance visited the other day. She kept exclaiming, “What a beautiful dog!” Then she leaned over from her wheel chair and hugged and kissed Lance, saying with much joy how much she loved Lance and please bring him again. The staff was simply amazed at the patient’s recreation to Lance that day.

At the special education program of our local community college for students from 18-22 years of age, one of the students was deathly afraid of dogs. When we first started visiting this class, he not only shied away from any contact with Lance, but he appeared visibly upset and jumped out of his seat to get away. After three sessions of Lance’s visits to this classroom, this young man tentatively touched Lance on his back with my help. He was surprised that Lance did not even move. Now, after six weeks of visiting once a week, this student lights up when we come into the room and he spontaneously asks to take Lance for a walk around the room. He also tells Lance to sit while he, the student, puts a dog cookie on Lance’s nose, tells Lance to “wait”, then releases Lance with a loud “okay”. The last time we visited, this student was so excited to see Lance that he got up to hug Lance around the neck and put his own face close to Lance. Something he never could have done at the start of the semester. As a result of our visits, his teachers have told me that this student has been more verbal and participates more in class. It’s amazing to see the impact Lance has in each of the lives he touches.

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