Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dog Show of Another Kind

While many people are watching the Olympics, others fancy watching the canine breeds strut their stuff in Madison Square Garden show ring. It’s the season and like many dog enthusiasts, maybe you and your canine friend have been sharing some time in front of the TV watching the most prestigious dog show in United States at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. It may be the Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting or Herding breeds and varieties that you love to watch or even the Sporting, Working, and Terrier breeds, but whichever the breed, these pooches are likely the most primped and pampered you will see.

As for us, we know some pretty incredible dogs. These are the ones that were saved from death to be trained as service dogs for veterans in the Carolina Canines for Veterans program or raised from puppyhood to help someone in the civilian community. We might not know if the dogs are pure bred or which group the dog might be shown in, but there is one thing we do know, these dogs will help someone gain back the independence they lost because of a disability. Be it a missing limb or a traumatic brain injury, balance issues, multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury, a service dog can and does change the life of just one person at a time.

If you are amazed at the dedication of the show handlers at Westminster Dog Show, what is truly amazing are the many volunteers that commit to raising a service dog for someone in need. Their dedication is a gift of love and compassion, many hours of work and the ultimate gift of giving the dog to someone with a greater need than their own. Someone is waiting for you right now to just say yes. Yes, I want to raise and train a dog for someone with a disability. It’s as easy as that, just say yes.

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