We’re not sure how big a role her dog Jack plays in helping Tisha out, or, for that matter — given her determination and what she has accomplished – if she even needs any.
On her YouTube channel, “Tisha Unarmed,” the irrepressible 25-year-old demonstrates how she texts, showers, ties her shoes, drives, gets dressed and more — even how to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches — all without arms.
In some of them, like this compilation, Jack, her black Chihuahua, can be seen standing by — at least until she turns on the vacuum cleaner:
Tisha — born without arms, and with one of her legs eight inches longer than the other — lives alone with Jack, and we don’t know if he inspires her, or she inspires him, or if perhaps a little of both goes on.
She was born in St. Louis, the oldest of five children, and grew up all over. Her father’s family is from Jordan, and she spent a few years in the Middle East before moving back to the United States by herself when she was a teenager, according to a story about her on Yahoo! Shine.
Last year, she graduated from St. Louis Community College with an associates degree in graphic design, the field in which she’s now seeking employment.
She’s also an artist and member of Mouth & Foot Painting Artists. She uses her toes to draw and paint.
She started making YouTube videos — demonstrating everything from how to eat with chopsticks to how to put on make-up — to showcase her graphic design skills, but now sees that she’s serving to educate a lot of people, able and disabled.
“If I can educate more people to be a little bit more open minded about disabilities and conditions, then I’ve done my job,” she says. “Not only am I educating abled people, but I’m also educating handicapped people to be more independent.”
Her her first video was titled “Eating a sandwich with my feet.” Since then, she’s added more videos and attracted more than 300,000 hits. She begins each video with the same introduction: “Hi everyone, this is Tisha Unarmed and I’m here to answer all your questions about not having arms. As you can see, I don’t have any arms.”
“I was just being silly and funny at home,” she said. “I just never expected to have so many views in so little time.”
Posted by jwoestendiek September 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abilities, abled, adaptability, adapting, animals, armless, channel, chihuahua, demonstrations, disabilities, disability, dog, dogs, feats, feet, humans, inspirational, inspiring, jack, no arms, pets, spirit, tisha, tisha unarmed, unarmed, videos, youtube
Surf dog Ricochet is at it again — recently helping a woman with no arms go surfing off the coast of California.
Arrangements were made for Sabine to receive lessons at AmpSurf, an organization that “brings the healing power of the ocean” to veterans and other people with disabilities by offering them an adaptive surfing experience.
Sabine is a survivor of birth defects caused by Thalidomide, a drug withdrawn from the market in 1961. She was born with no arms, but, as she often says, ”There is more than one way of doing things.”
Ricochet has learned as much herself: Bred to be a service dog, she flunked out of training class because of her tendency to chase birds. Instead, the golden retriever went on to become an accomplished surfer who, with her owner, helps people with disabilities experience the joy of surfing, raising money for charities in the process.
Sabine was originally scheduled to surf with Ricochet last summer. But after driving about 1,000 miles from her home in New Mexico to a surfing clinic in Pismo Beach, she sprained her ankle.
She promised to be back the next year, and she was.
On a cold and dreary day earlier this month, Sabine and Richochet caught more than a few waves.
For more info, please about Richocet, visit www.surfdogricochet.com.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 21st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ampsurf, animals, armless, assistance dogs, california, disabilities, dog, dogs, facebook, golden retriever, ocean, pets, ricochet, sabine becker, service dogs, surf dog, surf dog ricochet, surfer, surfing, thalidomide, therapy dogs
You might think former Marylander Donna Rock would be at a disadvantage when it comes to dog obedience competitions — given as the dogs are required to follow non-verbal signals, and given Donna has no arms.
Yet Donna and her 8-year-old Doberman Pinscher, Annie, have won numerous obedience and agility titles, including the prestigious Obedience Trial Championship (OTCH) and the crown jewel in agility, the Master Agility Championship (MACH).
Donna, who now lives in Lacombe, Louisiana, was born without arms. She originally purchased Annie to be her companion and to train for obedience competition, but the two developed such a bond that Annie became her service dog, assisting her with everyday activities.
In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit, Donna lost her home, belongings, and even her job with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. When she was temporarily reassigned to work in Washington, Annie went with her helping her in the subways, and on escalators.
Annie was a 2008 winner of an American Kennel Club Award for Canine Excellence (ACE), winning the exemplary companion dog category. The awards commemorate loyal, hard-working dogs that have made significant contributions to their community.
Annie is only the second Doberman pinscher in the nation to be named an American Kennel Club champion in both agility and obedience training.
Donna, over nine years of training the dog, created her own method of non-verbal signals, using her feet and legs, shoulder and head to communicate. While she can accomplish most things with her feet, from turning on faucets to feeding the dog, Annie helps her with the few things can’t do for herself.
Donna is shown working with Annie in the video above, from about five years ago. To see a newer video, check out this report from WWL-TV in Lousiana.
Annie is now retired from competition, and Donna is training a year and half old border collie named Roller, running him through the agility course, teaching him the same foot and leg commands, and showing him what his job will be.
“He’s got some awful big paws to fill,” Donna said.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 14th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: ace, agility, akc, american kennel club, annie, armless, award for canine excellence, championship, competitions, doberman, dog, dogs, donna rock, louisiana, non-verbal, obedience, roller, signals, trainer, training, video