It’s National Dog Day!

Guess why we’re wagging our tails? National Dog Day is here! We have heard countless incredible dog stories here at Help Hope Live, from service dogs with amazing skills to never-leave-your-side canine companions who ease the burden of a painful diagnosis.

The purpose of National Dog Day is to celebrate ALL dog breeds and acknowledge what a difference a dog can make in our lives, whether for companionship, protection, or disability and illness support. You can join us in celebrating National Dog Day this year simply by spending quality time with your favorite canines!

Here are a few tributes to the power of paws from our clients.

“Until three days ago, I didn’t fully understand the significance of a therapy dog. A dear friend of mine adopted one for me, knowing I was looking for a lap pup to be my companion as I wait for two new lungs, and to help me transition post-transplant.

In just under 72 hours, Sadie, my 8-year-old rescued Pughasa, has, in fact, rescued me.

I’m usually a glass half full (or more) kind of person, always looking for the lessons in life as I deal with a lifelong illness resulting in 9 months on the waiting list for a bilateral lung transplant. My strong faith pulls me through most times. Lately, I’ve been dragged down – perhaps by the intense heat, perhaps the unknown of when “the call” will finally come. All I know is that the bad days have recently surpassed the good. My friend Ann heard it in my voice as I was fighting the self-pity tears.

Now, my life has changed in a way I wasn’t quite prepared for: this little abandoned dog worked her magic in my heart within minutes. And doesn’t she know it!

The love in her eyes when she gazes at me is only matched by the love in mine. She basically won’t leave my side, although the other full-time human in our household, my husband, Steve, may provide some intrigue for her from time to time! Look at that underbite – how can you resist!

If you are dealing with an incredible difficult health issue, or an emotional one for that matter, please consider a rescue dog. My load has been made so much lighter as I tend to this newest addition to our family. It takes the focus away from my daily challenges to love on the most adorable 4-legged that has ever walked this Earth. Really – I’m serious!”

From Rachelle Ledbetter, Southwest Lung Transplant Fund

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“Our furry friends are Mari and Fozzie. Fozzie is training to become Marisol’s service dog. We hope that he can assist Marisol with her PTSD, learning to recognize before she has an anxiety attack to help her calm down. Fozzie will accompany Marisol at the hospital and at school.”

From Marisol Ramirez, Mid-Atlantic Multi-Visceral Transplant Fund

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“I got Vedder when my middle sister passed away. He was her dog. Vedder was with me for the two years when I was on peritoneal dialysis, by my side every single night as I hooked up to the machine.

When Vedder passed, I got Bailey, four years after my kidney transplant. Bailey helps me to stay focused and busy post-transplant.”

Frances V Gilmore, South-Atlantic Kidney Transplant Fund

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“Owning a home in the mountains in Colorado has some lovely perks, but it can pose quite a few challenges for a wheelchair user. Wheeling to the post office one day with a Border Collie that I was dogsitting, I started getting fatigued on the last hill. It made me think, “I want one of these of my own…but I need a dog that can PULL!

I called a friend who trains service dogs and we discussed what I was looking for in a dog. Soon after, she found a Shepherd-Lab mix with a strong body and a great mind – a lady ready for the job!

The folks at Paws in Hand Canine Consulting are helping to train her in pulling, tugging, and retrieving with the eventual goal of having my dog pull me in my wheelchair, tug heavy doors open, shut doors behind me, drag heavy bags or boxes, retrieve objects from another room, and lay by my consistently-cold legs to help keep them warm.

I cannot wait for this new addition to my life and to build a relationship with a dog that can help me go farther and accomplish more every day.”

From Mary Ruth Armbruster, Midwest/West Spinal Cord Injury Fund

We hope you’ve enjoyed these special stories of love and support. Do you have a dog story to share? We’d love to hear it! Tag @helphopeliveorg on social media and share your special memories with us.

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