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Old 10-18-2012, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by CAROLINA MOM View Post
Lucas and Juno: The Special Relationship Between a Sick 4-Year-Old Boy and His Dog


As nearly anyone who has adopted a dog or cat from a shelter can attest, there’s something special about a rescued pet; it’s as if the animal senses he’s been given a second chance at life. That’s certainly the case with Juno, a Belgian Malinois who was rescued from a shelter just days before she was to be euthanized. But since coming to live with her family in Alcoa, Tenn., Juno has taken on the role of rescuer to four-year-old Lucas Hembree.
Lucas suffers from Sanfilippo syndrome, an inherited, metabolic disease caused by the absence or malfunctioning of an enzyme needed to break down long sugar molecules. As the disease progresses, children lose the ability to speak, walk and eat. The disease also causes severe neurological damage that leads to aggressive behavior, hyperactivity and seizures.
Credit: Courtesy of the Hembree family
Juno helps to keep Lucas calm.


“The most catastrophic thing parents hear when they learn their child has this disease is that there’s no cure or treatment available,” says Lucas’ father, Chester.
Unless that changes, Lucas isn’t expected to live past the age of 15 and may be in a vegetative state by the time he is eight. Realizing that every moment is extra precious, Chester and his wife, Jennifer, want their son to experience as much as he can while he still has the capacity to enjoy it.
So when the disease started to take a toll on Lucas’ joints, Chester looked into getting a service dog to keep Lucas steady when he walked. “I was told that a service dog would cost at least $15,000, and that Lucas wasn’t a good candidate because of his deteriorating abilities and his behavior,” Chester says. “I refused to accept this answer.”
A combination of prayer and persistence led Chester to Juno. “I came across a posting about her on a rescue group’s website,” he says. “I had the feeling in my gut that I had to go see this dog.”
The whole family made the two-hour trip to meet Juno, who was being held at an east Tennessee shelter. “She was emaciated, and was days away from being euthanized,” Chester says. “She had been surrendered to the shelter because her previous owners didn’t understand the Belgian Malinois.”
Credit: Courtesy of the Hembree family
Lucas' dad, Chester, knew Juno was a special dog right from the start.


Fortunately, Chester did. He’d gotten to know and love the breed while working as a law enforcement officer years earlier. “I used to help with the training of police K-9s, and our dogs were Belgian Malinoises,” he says. “I loved their desire to work and their ‘never quit’ attitude.” In addition to being a popular choice for police dogs, the breed is often used in combat. In fact, it’s believed that the dog that helped Navy SEALs take down Osama bin Laden was a Belgian Malinois.
But while the breed has proven its prowess on patrol and in combat, Chester needed to be sure Juno would be a suitable service dog for his little boy. “I put her on a loose leash and she walked with me and never pulled,” Chester says. “Next came the Lucas test. They took to each other immediately, like kindred spirits.”
The Hembrees brought Juno home and showered her with love and affection. “I wanted to make sure she had plenty of time to adjust to the family before I started the formal training,” Chester says. Yet, from the beginning there seemed to be something instinctive about their relationship. One day, Chester noticed Juno circling Lucas while he was in his wheelchair. “She was whining and nudging him with her nose,” Chester says. “I checked his oxygen levels and they were very low.” After giving him oxygen, Lucas returned to normal and Juno greeted him with licks and affection.
Credit: Courtesy of the Hembree family
Juno watches over Lucas during a recent trip to the hospital. Lucas and Juno received more than 6,000 Christmas cards from well-wishers around the world. This was the first batch.


“That’s when I knew she had the ability to pick up on his neurological changes,” Chester says. “Now she alerts us when Lucas is about to have a seizure or if his oxygen levels drop really low. She has saved him several times."
Juno has become a literal shoulder for Lucas to lean on when walking, and a calming influence when he’s agitated. And while Chester makes sure that Juno gets time off, he says that it’s hard to get Juno to leave Lucas’ side. “You don’t see one without the other close by,” he says. “It really feels like it was meant to be.”
To learn more about Lucas you can go to the Facebook page that his dad writes from Lucas' perspective.
Awwww! That's so wonderful!
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  #52 (permalink)  
Old 10-18-2012, 09:43 AM
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Surf Dog Ricochet Tackles Bully Problem




Photo: Ricochet and the boy courtesy of www.pawmazing.com

click image to open/close


By Caroline Golon

A dog named Ricochet shot to stardom in 2009 when a video of her uncanny ability to surf the waves with disabled people went viral.


Today, with nearly 4 million video views and 63,000 Facebook fans, Ricochet uses her fame to raise money and awareness for various causes, including a serious issue plaguing American schools – bullying.


Ricochet and her owner, Judy Fridono of Escondido, Calif., visit local schools to talk with the students about bullying. They discuss what it is, why it’s bad and how kids can deal with bullies.


Then, Judy tells the students something that usually shocks them: Ricochet herself has been a victim of bullying.


“I don’t take her to dog parks anymore,” says Judy. “The other dogs don’t hurt her but it seems like they know that she’s a soft, gentle soul and they sometimes gang up on her.”


Judy says the students are surprised to think that even a dog could be bullied. She believes knowing this about Ricochet makes bullied kids not feel so alone, and hopefully gives them the courage to tell an adult what they’re going through.




Photo: Ricochet courtesy of Facebook.com/SurfDogRicochet

click image to open/close

“Kids seem to relate to dogs differently than they do to teachers or adults,” says Judy. “That’s why I think this program is so effective.”


Ricochet, who was born and trained to be a service dog, was unhappy with the direction Judy was pushing her. It wasn’t until Judy saw Ricochet happily jump onto a surfboard with a disabled boy that she realized she was trying to push Ricochet to be something she wasn’t.


“Once I let her be herself, everything changed,” Judy says.


Judy hopes the “be yourself” message gets through to the kids Ricochet meets. “It’s okay to be different, even if people don’t understand you,” Judy says. “I think Ricochet’s story shows that.”


In addition to her anti-bullying work, Ricochet continues to surf with disabled people, raises money for breast cancer research and has participated in a program designed to assist veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.


“Ricochet’s message to these kids is to be true to yourself no matter what anyone says. That’s what Ricochet did and look what she’s accomplished!”
Hooray! I am big on bullying awareness!
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  #53 (permalink)  
Old 10-18-2012, 10:25 AM
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It doesn't get any better for happy tears than this story-- Romeo a 15 year old Golden is reunited with his owner after getting lost in the New Mexico forest for 2 months! This is a huge testament for microchips!

Dog reunited with owner after being lost for 2 months | New Mexico News - KOAT Home
That's so awesome!
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  #54 (permalink)  
Old 10-18-2012, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Lilliam View Post
oooooo, I think this upcoming event will fit in this thread!!! It's an event that's coming up on Oct 21st, one of my friends from work who lives in Atlanta told me about it because I've been raving about goldens so much!!!

Event to benefit abandoned golden retrievers | www.ajc.com
Aw man! I wish they could have something like that where we live!
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  #55 (permalink)  
Old 11-03-2012, 09:57 AM
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Thumbs up US Military Working Dog Teams get Statue


Four-legged veterans will finally get their own national monument

11 hrs ago
It would be lame to say that our national monuments are going to the dogs, but some very important dogs are being recognized with their own memorial. The U.S. Working Dog Teams National Monument has not yet been unveiled, but an artist's model of the marble-and-bronze tribute to "every dog that served in combat since World War II" is pictured above. The statue was proposed in 2000 by decorated war vet and author John Burnam, who says a German shepherd saved his life in Vietnam. The official statue will be revealed in January and will have a permanent home at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, where most military dogs are trained.
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  #56 (permalink)  
Old 11-03-2012, 08:14 PM
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I leaned about this story from our local library. They had a booth at a conference for parents and educators that we attended today. They told me about a children's book about Norman, the blind Labrador that rescued a girl from drowning. I found a video on the story. The story is from 16 years ago, but it is such an amazing story!

Blind Dog Rescues Drowning Girl - YouTube
"> Blind Dog Rescues Drowning Girl - YouTube
" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="350">
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  #57 (permalink)  
Old 11-10-2012, 08:20 AM
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Thumbs up In wake of Sandy, IFAW goes door to door

Nov 5, 2012 3:08:00 PM by Rosemary Jones
Following days of flooding and power outages caused by Superstorm Sandy, thousands of homeowners find themselves still shut out of their neighborhoods by evacuation orders, safety concerns, or curfews. Many were desperately worried about the pets left behind in the scramble to escape the storm's fury.
In Seaside Heights, NJ, the International Fund for Animal Welfare's Animal Search and Rescue (ASAR) teams went door-to-door to feed animals and make reassuring phone calls to their owners that their pets were safe. Cats, dogs, turtles, and even a boa constrictor were fed.
Rescue workers tell the tale of Peanut, a small dog whose muddy footprints next to the refrigerator's handle showed how he had spent the hours before they arrived. Peanut (shown above) was happy to take a journey in the travel crate with IFAW's crew and leave his cold, wet home behind.
"We were asked to support land and water search and rescue operations for animals in Ocean County,” said Shannon Walajtys, IFAW Manager for Disasters. When responding to disasters, the team brings a rescue truck and trailer filled with essential equipment and supplies, including boats, and works with local animal rescue authorities to coordinate efforts.
In New Jersey, IFAW is partnering with the ASPCA, the Animal Rescue League of Boston, the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and Toms River Animal Control. "The ASPCA is pleased to be in a position to assist Ocean County authorities, and the incredible support and collaboration with the local officials and our response partners will allow us to respond quickly to animal rescue requests. Our priority is to help reunite as many pet owners and their animals as possible," said Dr. Dick Green, director of Disaster Response for the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team, who is overseeing the rescue efforts.
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  #58 (permalink)  
Old 11-21-2012, 01:34 PM
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Smile This is how cops should handle dogs

Baltimore police officer adopts pit bull - Arlington dog health | Examiner.com
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  #59 (permalink)  
Old 11-23-2012, 09:22 AM
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ASPCA providing FREE boarding for animals displaced by Hurricane Sandy




The ASPCA Emergency Boarding Facility has been up and running in Brooklyn since Saturday November 17! Our dedicated staff and volunteers are currently caring for about 150 animals and providing relief to Sandy victims who need temporary housing for their pets. Check out photos of the operation in our Facebook album.
This week, we received pets at locations near the hardest hit areas, including the Rockaways and Coney Island on Monday and Tuesday and Staten Island and Red Hook later in the week. The facility has also welcomed pets who were being housed at evacuation centers or a Sean Casey Animal Rescue facility, as well as animals dropped off directly by their families.
Made possible in part thanks to a $500,000 grant from Rachael Ray, this free service was created in response to the many pet parents who asked for a place to board animals until they found new homes. With the help of volunteers from the ASPCA Adoption Center, Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals and elsewhere, we’re aiming to give hundreds of families a chance to rebuild their lives without having to say goodbye to their beloved furry family members.
Watch this blog for updates.
If you or someone you know was affected by Sandy and would like to use our free boarding service, please read this post for details.
If you would like to donate to our Disaster Relief Fund, you can do so here.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:35 AM
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Blind, Deaf and 3-Legged Dog Saves Family From Fire

By Caroline Golon

Photo credit: KFOR-TV

click image to enlarge


True, a disabled dachshund, showed that true heroes sometimes come in unexpected packages. True is blind, deaf and only has three legs, yet his disabilities didn’t stop him from alerting his family that their house was on fire last week.

Katie Crawley of Grady County, Okla. was asleep in her home with her 7-week-old son, Jace, when True began barking. Thinking True wanted to go outside, Crawley opened the front door to flames. She quickly grabbed her son and True and ran out the back of the house.

The fire destroyed everything the family owned but Crawley is grateful to the dog who saved their lives. “We’re thankful for him. This could have been a bad deal,” she told her local station, KFOR-TV.

Photo credit: KFOR-TV

click image to enlarge


Crawley, a dog groomer, adopted True when she heard his previous owner didn’t want him “because he couldn’t hear and can barely see,” Crawley writes on the KFOR-TV web site. “I felt he deserved a chance just like any ‘normal’ dog. I taught him sign language and he has the best personality,” she writes. Crawley adds that True’s leg was amputated after he was hit by a car and says, “it added to his personality. He’s such a happy dog and is my guardian angel!”

The community has rallied around the family, donating food, clothes, money and an abundance of baby supplies for Jace. Crawley is grateful for the support, especially since the fire came on the heels of an already trying period. Jace, who was born with a heart defect, spent days in the neonatal intensive care unit right after his birth, according to KFOR-TV.

“We’ve been overwhelmed with support from friends and people we don’t even know; just totally brought me to tears,” Crawley tells KFOR.
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