Andrew Clyde keeps a doberman pinscher named Kit at his place of business in Bogart, Georgia, to provide security.
Russ Murray keeps a black Labrador named Ellie at his side to help him deal with the post-traumatic stress disorder he has dealt with since serving in Afghanistan.
Over the weekend Russ and Ellie went into Clyde’s shop and were asked to leave — because the service dog was upsetting the security dog.
Murray was physically injured when his Humvee was blown up by an explosive device in Afghanistan. After his tour of duty, his PTSD reached the point he was afraid to go outside alone.
Since getting Ellie, a year ago, that has changed. With her at his side, Murray is able to go anywhere — except Clyde’s Armory.
According to Murray, the gun shop owner told him Ellie was disturbing his security dog, and would have to leave. Murray refused and was escorted out of the building.
Clyde told FOX 5, that the Americans With Disabilities Act allows a business owner to ask a person with a service dog to leave if the dog is being disruptive or alters the way business is conducted.
Clyde said that he’s also a disabled veteran, but that Kit needs to be allowed to do her job without distraction.
Murray’s attorney says a business owner is required to accommodate people with service dogs — even if it means bringing merchandise outside the store.
“I was just extremely hurt,” Murray said. “I have this animal to help me when I’m out and it really disturbing that a business would do that when she’s there to help me go into public.”
Posted by jwoestendiek April 10th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: americans with disabilities, andrew clyde, animals, bogart, clydes armory, disabilities, disabled, doberman, dogs, ellie, georgia, gun shop, kit, labrador, pets, post traumatic stress disorder, ptsd, russ murray, service dog, veterans
Despite wearing a service vest clearly marked with the words “service dog,” a German shepherd named Princess was kicked out of Georgia convenience store.
Princess, who is a service dog for Wyatt Fox, a young boy with autism and other medical problems, was booted from the QuikTrip off Interstate 75 in McDonough.
According to his mother, Cory Fox, she was getting coffee when the manager approached and said, “We have food in here and you can’t be in here.”
Ms. Fox said she explained Princess was a service dog, and pointed out the dog’s vest, but the manager kept yelling at her until she was out the door.
“I’m very open to educating people as long as they approach me the right way. I will tell you what the dog does freely. I will tell you about service dogs, but he just continued to berate us and tell us we weren’t welcome,” she told 11Alive.
A QuickTrip corporate spokesman issued the following statement, with an iffy apology:
“If QT made a mistake, we apologize. We recognize all service dogs in our stores. Our training manuals reflect this. If we must, we may go back and retrain the employee so he understands our procedure.”
Posted by jwoestendiek February 22nd, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, autism, convenience store, disabilities, dogs, gas station, georgia, kicked out, mcdonough, pets, qt, quicktrip, service dog
Chica is a happy border collie who lives on a farm in Clay County, Indiana.
Her favorite pastime is playing fetch with her owners Martha and Buddy Knox.
That wouldn’t be news — WTHI-TV notes — were it not for this: She does it without any eyes.
They were surgically removed when she was a pup.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 18th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: amazing, animals, ball, border collie, chica, disabilities, dog, dog without eyes, dogs, eyes, farm, fetch, knox, no eyes, pets, video
Having no front legs didn’t stop Kandu from getting around. And it didn’t stop him from becoming a therapy dog. Maybe it even made him a better one.
It was seven years ago that Ken Rogers and his wife Melissa, of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, saw a piece on the news about a dog missing his front legs who was in need of a home.
They adopted him, and didn’t stop there, taking in other disabled dogs and a handicapped cat.
“We tend to adopt pets with disabilities and do everything we can to try to help them,” Ken Rogers told KUSA, which reported on the amazing dog in Januray..
Now both Kandu and Lucy, who also lacks front legs, make regular visits to the Yampa Valley Medical Center, where Melissa works, to bring hope to the lives of others — as shown in the video above, by the good news website, HooplaHa,
Seeing their determination, the couple decided both dogs would make great therapy dogs.
“It shows people if this dog can do it, you can do it too,” Melissa said.
“We don’t think they’re any different than any other dog,” said Ken. Kandu proves that regularly, living up to his name.
“… Nothing’s going to stop him,” he said.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 3rd, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, attitude, can do, colorado, devices, disabilities, disabled, dog, dogs, kandu, ken rogers, legs, melissa rogers, no front legs, pets, steamboat springs, therapy, therapy dogs, Yampa Valley Medical Center
Pirelli came into the world last year — bred to be a service dog, but born without one of his rear paws, apparently the result of the umbilical cord wrapping around it and cutting off circulation.
Despite that, he’d go on to serve — visiting schools to get across the message that appearances are meaningless and obstacles can be overcome
“I think the fact that he has a disability of his own is going to be incredible in teaching people that it’s irrelevant, that life is not about what your body can do. It’s about who you are on the inside not the outside, Jennifer Arnold, the founder of Canine Assistants in Alpharetta, Georgia, said at the time.
“I want Pirelli to go into schools and say when you judge whether or not you want someone to be your friend, don’t look at their bodies,” she told WWLP – 22 News. “That’s not where you need to look.”
Pirelli — named after a tire because “he needs a retread” — was outfitted with a temporary prosthetic and went on to spread some hope and inspiration.
Now, months later, it’s his turn to receive some: Through donations from those touched by his story, he’s getting a prosthetic foot — similar to the futuristic running blades worn by South African Olympian and double amputee Oscar Pistorius, NBC’s Today Show reported.
After earlier prosthetic devices proved less than perfect, the staff at Canine Assistants launched a fundraising campaign online, asking for donations to outfit Pirelli with a state-of-the-art carbon fiber paw.
While he is waiting for the surgery, Pirelli has been fitted with a plastic version of the carbon foot. The implantation of his permanent prosthesis will be done at North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
The prosthesis — being built by Hangar Clinic, the company whose work in prosthetics helped inspire the recent film “Dolphin Tale” — will be implanted into his leg bone.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, canine assistants, carbon fiber, college of veterinary medicine, disabilities, dogs, georgia, golden, implant, jennifer arnold, leg, north carolina state university, oscar pistorius, paw, pets, pirelli, prosthetic, retriever, running blade, schools, service dogs
Evy and Ted Inoue had a most gracious idea for a website — one that would allow people to share their thanks with good Samaritans and others who deserved a pat on the back.
To promote their new business, the New Hope, Pa., couple had their van made over to resemble their dog, Kudos, a basset hound-cocker spaniel mix whose bubbly personality had been the inspiration for it. It was named after him, too — OurKudos.com.
“That was supposed to be our promotional vehicle,” Evy told Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Daniel Rubin in an interview, as the vehicle named Waggin Wheels sat in the driveway. It is brown and white, with big soft eyes, furry black ears that droop over the rear doors, and a red tongue that sticks out of the grill.
“By giving it the look and personality of our dog, we hoped it would spread happiness wherever it went,” said Evy, a children’s book author who writes under the pen name Kimiko Kajikawa. “We’d go to events and honor all sorts of heroes. We’d be giving out kudos.”
While the van got 26 miles per gallon, highway, the Inoue’s business was guzzling their time, and not exactly taking off in the manner they hoped. Building a site allowing the grateful to buy gifts for the objects of their gratitude – candy and flowers and such — proved time consuming, and it was hard to be heard over the din that is the Internet. The yet to fully rebound economy didn’t help, either.
But what really caused the Inoues to lose faith in their plan — and sent Waggin Wheels into retirement — was Kudos, himself. He was diagnosed with Lyme disease in March 2011 and died a year ago Monday at age 3.
After that, the idea of using the van was just too painful. So was the idea of selling it.
For months, Rubin reports, it sat in the garage. Then Evy started looking for a charity that might be able to use the pupped-out vehicle.
Out of the blue, she ended up calling Joyce Darrell and Mike Dickerson, founders of Pets With Disabilities, based in Prince Frederick, Md.
“I thought she was pulling my chain,” Joyce said of the call from Evy a month ago.
Pets With Disabilities rescues and fosters disabled dogs, and has been doing so for 10 years, squeezing their dogs into a 1996 Saturn station wagon when the time comes — as it does pretty often – for trips to the vets.
Right now, they have 25 blind, deaf and three-legged dogs, many of whom have spinal injuries that require special wheelchairs for them to get around.
At the Inoue’s invitation, Mike Dickerson drove up to see the Ford van, bringing along Megan, one of the blind dogs.
Long story short, Waggin Wheels will soon have a new home, Pets With Disabilities couldn’t be more grateful, and the Inoue’s managed to dispense some of the good karma their former business was all about.
“We’re being touched by angels,” Joyce said. “They could have sold that van and got their money back. They deserve kudos, too.”
(Photo: Dan Rubin / Philadelphia Inquirer)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, basset hound, blind, cocker spaniel, deaf, disabilities, dog, dogs, evy inoue, ford, handicapped, joyce darrell, kimiko kajikawa, kudos, maryland, mike dickerson, mix, new hope, our kudos, ourkudos, pennsylvania, pets, pets with disabilities, prince frederick, rescue, ted inoue, van, vehicle, website
Last time we checked in on Ricochet, she was riding the waves, teaching the disabled to surf, and raising gobs of money for good causes in the process.
Now Surf Dog Ricochet, as she’s still known, is involved with a program that allows individuals with speech disabilities to communicate with their dogs by using an electronic voice, via an iPad.
Ricochet, who’s also a therapy dog, is shown here reacting to commands given from an iPad electronic voice through the TouchChat app without any cues from her handler.
The app allows people who have verbal disabilities as a result of Autism, Downs Syndrome, stroke, or other causes to communicate directly with a dog, giving them a sense of independence, self confidence and control.
Ricochet’s working with the Poway Unified School District Transition Program, through the therapy dog organizations she belongs to — Paws’itive Teams
Paws’itive Teams trains service dogs to assist mobility-limited persons in achieving greater independence and, through educational presentations and animal assisted therapy, enhances the lives of persons living in San Diego County.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, commands, communication, disabilities, dogs, electronic, ipad, obey, pawsitive teams, pets, poway, ricochet, schools, speech, surf dog, surf dog ricochet, therapy dogs, touchchat, video, voice
Reverend Richard Herrin — after a four-year stretch without one — now has a service dog to help him serve God.
Herrin, a Baptist minister who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, lost his most recent service dog in 2008.
After moving from Texas to North Carolina earlier this year, to be closer to family, he began looking for funding to help cover the $25,000 expense of getting a trained service dog and bringing it home.
His new community kicked in $6,000 of that — through a campaign drive headed by a Moravian church in Winston-Salem.
Herrin went to North Dakota in July to pick the dog up from the Great Plains Assistance Dogs Foundation Inc., the Winston-Salem Journal reports.
Now, Dakota, a 3-year-old black Lab, is at his side, helping him with everyday tasks and in his ministry.
Due to the costs, Herrin had gone four years without a service dog since his last one, a golden retriever, died when he was living in Texas.
Not long after moving to North Carolina, Herrin visited Trinity Moravian Church, several blocks from his house. The secretary there referred him to the Rev. Russell May, interim minister at Bethania Moravian. May coordinated the fundraising effort, and Trinity Moravian accepted the checks and sent them on to North Dakota.
The dog’s main job is to pick things up and give them to Herrin. She’s learning to help Herrin take off his shirt, and has mastered bringing items to him from the refrigerator. She has also chewed up the television remote, but that’s part of the learning curve, say Herrin and his wife, both of whom are professional dog trainers.
“The dog has to know who you are,” Herrin said. “Can they look into you? Can they trust you are going to be honest? Are you going to be who you are? Without building a relationship, you might as well hang it up.”
On top of the chores a service dog helps with, he says, ” the value is the relationship with it.”
Dakota has made several visits to Herrin’s church, Southside Baptist, but Moravian congregations and others are pulling for him as well.
“The support of the Winston-Salem community has enabled him to get a tool that will challenge him, and that empowers him,” May said. “This is not simple charity. They have given him a responsibility, too… He wants to do ministry. This dog will help him in that.”
(Photo: Andrew Dye / Winston-Salem Journal)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: baptist, bethania moravian church, black, cerebral palsy, church, dakota, disabilities, fundraising, funds, great plains assistance dogs foundation, lab, labrador, minister, money, moravian, north carolina, raised, retriever, reverend, richard herrin, service dog, southside baptist church, trinity moravian church, winston-salem
After enrolling fewer than two dozen of a planned 230 dogs in the study — all paired with vets with PTSD — the VA has announced that the study has been suspended, and that, from now on, service dogs will only be paired with veterans with visible disabilities.
The new policy goes into effect today.
For the 400,000 veterans diagnosed as having post-traumatic stress disorder, that means dogs — despite all the positive effects that have been reported — will no longer be part of their treatment and recovery.
Among those blasting the decision is the American Humane Association.
Just days before its second annual celebration of hero dogs, the organization took time to put together a petition, calling on the Department of Veterans Affairs to reverse the new policy.
“Our focus on animal-assisted therapy dates back to 1945 when we promoted therapy dogs as a means to help World War II veterans recover from the effects of war,” the AHA said. ”We know from years of experience that the human-animal bond is a source of powerful healing, whether they are children suffering from cancer or military men and women who have suffered the stress of battle.
“Service dogs, in particular, are an amazing, positive resource for assisting our nation’s best and bravest though their physical pain and mental anguish. We call on the VA and the United States Congress to stand up for our veterans…”
Specifically, the new VA policy ends the program that reimbursed veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder for their use of service dogs while in recovery.
“It’s of the utmost importance that we provide our vets with every option available to treat service related ailments,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), who was also shocked to learn of the new policy.
“Especially as the wars are winding down, and more and more soldiers are returning home with mental trauma, the VA must continue to allow their doctors and mental health professionals to provide benefits to veterans who need mental health service dogs,” he said.
Congress mandated that additional scientific study be conducted on the impact of service dogs paired with PTSD vets several years ago. But apparently that study never got off the ground — at least not as ambitiously as planned.
Launched in June 2011, the study planned to follow 230 PTSD vets and their service dogs, tracking them and their families through 2014. Only about a tenth of that number were registered for the study, though.
The study was halted, according to reports, because of concerns about dogs biting children, dirty and cramped living conditions, and faulty record-keeping.
According to the VA, there are about 400,000 veterans currently in treatment for PTSD, and that group has higher than normal rates of divorce, substance abuse, unemployment and suicide. There are 32 to 39 suicide attempts daily among vets with PTSD, about half of which result in death, according to a column by the Chicago Tribune’s Steve Dale.
Dale’s column looks at the benefits of programs such as those provided by Paws for Purple Hearts – an improved quality of life, fewer flashbacks and nightmares. Vets paired with dogs are said to be more likely to find jobs; less likely to become recluses.
“One hallmark of PTSD is avoidance (of going outdoors and socializing with others),” says Robert Porter, executive director 0f Paws for Purple Hearts. “That’s hard to do with a 60-pound dog who just wants to go out and play.”
The study was a chance to prove, beyond the anecdotal, just how much therapy dogs could help vets with PTSD. But, for reasons that make little sense, both the study and the concept were canned.
Most of the dogs in the study were from Guardian Angel Medical Services of Williston, Fla., and its founder and director, Carol Borden, says there were no biting incidents reported.
Borden says that in the organization’s history, veterans with PTSD nearly always benefit from having a dog. Some patients have been able to cut their medication in half, or stop taking it altogether, she said.
That has raised questions among some about whether pharmaceutical companies lobbied for the new VA policy. That’s conjecture, of course — conjecture being something that tends to occur when no logical explanation is given.
The VA owes vets, not to mention Congress, an explanation.
And we all owe veterans afflicted with PSTD a chance to get past it, or at least cope with it. Ruling out dogs and dropping the study is an oath broken, a promising avenue bypassed, and a slap in the face to veterans.
“We’ve not experienced a single suicide attempt as far as we know,” Borden said of vets paired with dogs under the Guardian Angels program. “I have letters from wives thanking us because the husband has returned, and it all happens because of a dog who provides unconditional love.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aha, american humane association, animals, benefits, ceased, charles schumer, congress, department, disabilities, divorce, dog, dogs, dropped, drug abuse, employment, funding, guardian angel medical services, halted, paws for purple hearts, petition, pets, post traumatic stress disorder, programs, promised, ptsd, ptsd dogs, reimburse, reimbursement, senator, service, study, suicide, terminated, therapy, va, vet, veterans, veterans affairs
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