Wednesday, May 22, 2013

It Takes a Village

Every time there is a new partnering we are reminded it takes a village.  The service dog has been touched by so many lives leading up to it being partnered with a person with a disability.  From the selection process with  local shelter/rescue to one of several veterinary clinics stepping up on short notice to evaluate the hips of the dog by x-ray, spay/neuter if necessary and bring the dog up-to-date on vaccinations, to transporting the dog to it's new career and then the training and outings.  Countless people involved in the process including our funders and donors.  We congratulate and thank each and every one of you whose hands and feet make our mission possible. 

The help of our supporters, new friends and social media could not have been 

more evident than in the last week.  On Tuesday, May 14th, a Airedale Mix was spotted on a Facebook post at Woodland West Pet Resort in Tulsa OK.  A Facebook email to a friend in revealed she was in the area and would call the resort.  The dog, named Charlie, was found walking down the exit ramp of a busy highway.  No one claimed him after all the necessary advertising.  Woodland West needed to find him an adopter because they did not want him to go to the pound.  Our friend temperament tested Charlie on Wednesday and the results were good.  On Thursday Charlie was neutered, his hips evaluated and vaccinated by Woodland West Animal Hospital.  On Friday a request was put on the Canine for Service facebook page asking for anyone with contacts to help get the dog from Tulsa, OK to Charleston, SC.  One of our Board Members is in the Air Force Reserves and she posted the request on her personal facebook page.  A response came in that someone knew an Airman completing flight school and traveling back to Charleston.  On Friday night between 5 to 9 pm plans were solidified and Charlie would be on route from Tulsa to Charleston.

Does this happen often?  Well, not for us.  This is the furthest we have ever obtained a dog from for the Canines for Veterans program.  We are overwhelmed by the number of people who stepped up to assist  for the sake of one stray dog and a program that speaks to peoples hearts.  

Charlie has been renamed Rafiki, Swahili word for "Friend", seems fitting for this boy who has already become the friend of so many.  Now, it is our turn to shape him into the service dog he is destined to be.   Our many thanks to Pat, Summer at Woodland West Pet Resort, Sarah and Dr. Johnson  at Woodland West Animal Hospital, Shawna for the contacts for transport, Airman Ben for giving the Rafiki a ride to Charleston.  Without each and every one of you, this would not have happened.