Mailman Jeff Kramer met black Lab Tashi on his route in Boulder a few years ago.
“As fast as he could — which was not very fast — he ran up to me tail wagging, first day I met him,” Kramer said. “He’s just a really friendly dog. And I am a dog person, and they can tell.”
Kramer greeted and petted him nearly every day. But over the years, Tashi’s mobility declined — until the point that, after turning 13, the dog became unable to handle the steps of the front porch.
Kramer was in a position to help.
He’d built a ramp for his own elderly dog, Odie. But Odie passed away not long after that, about five years ago. The ramp sat in pieces in Kramer’s backyard.
So he offered it to Karen Dimetrosky and her family. Then he delivered it, in pieces.
“He’s just amazing,” she added. “We’ve had the ramp for a few months and he’s saved us …
“I can’t imagine not having the ramp now. It’s the only way he gets in and out.”
“We were literally carrying him up and down the stairs,” Dimetrosky told the Boulder Daily Camera. “And he weighs about 70 pounds.”
“I just noticed they needed it,” Kramer said. “I didn’t need it anymore and I hate throwing things away.”
Kramer said most of the dogs on his route are friendly.
“I’ve got about 30 or 40 that enthusiastically greet me,” Kramer said. “Then I’ve got three or four that enthusiastically want to eat me.”
Kramer recently attended Tashi’s 14th birthday party, and Dimetrosky said that Tashi, despite his achy bones, gets up off his bed whenever Kramer comes by.
Kramer said Tashi is one of his favorite dogs on the route.
“He’s just so happy with life.”
(Photo and video by Jeremy Papasso / Daily Camera)
Posted by John Woestendiek January 13th, 2017 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: aging, black lab, boulder, colorado, deliver, delivery, disability, dog, dog and mailman, dogs, friends, jeff kramer, labrador retriever, mail, mailman, old, post office, postal, ramp, tashi, usps
A home improvement store says a disabled vet and his service dog were “the best person for the job.”
So now you can find them, in matching employee vests, helping customers at the Lowe’s in Abilene.
Clay Luthy says he has had Charlotte since she was a puppy.
“I was trying to figure out where I could go that would be a good fit and it wouldn’t mind having Charlotte, and my wife said I was at Lowe’s so much anyway, I might as well get a job there,” he told KIDY.
“We knew he was gonna make a great employee – we just got the benefit of getting Charlotte right along with him,” said Jay Fellers, Lowe’s human resources manager.
The duo has been getting some news coverage since Judy Dechert Rose, a customer at Lowe’s, posted the image online last week:
“This is a retired vet who struggled to get a job because he needs his service dog! Lowes hired them BOTH!!” she wrote.
Luthy, who served in the Air Force, said he was surprised when it went viral.
“By the time I looked at it, there was 1,000 comments on it. Oh my gosh, it was ridiculous,” he said.
It wasn’t the first Lowe’s to hire an employee AND his service dog.
Back in June, a Lowe’s in Saskatchewan was in the news for hiring Owen Lima and his dog Blue.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 7th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abilene, animals, blue, charlotte, clay luthy, disabilities, disability, disabled, dogs, employee, hired, hiring, home improvement, jobs, labrador, lowes, owen lima, pets, retriever, saskatchewan, service dog, store, vet, veteran, work, yellow lab
Before the well-known Baltimore institute hired him as an employee, Marshall Garber had been a patient at, supporter of and spokesman for Kennedy Krieger’s International Center for Spinal Cord Injury.
Now he has left them after being told he can’t bring his dog to work.
Garber, who has been dependent on a wheelchair since being paralyzed by a spinal cord injury six years ago, said he needed the dog to help him get around.
“If you’ve never sat in a wheelchair and pushed a wheelchair around you are going to realize how difficult that is,” Garber told WBAL.
“If I didn’t go anywhere else. Just my office, I’m rolling 200 yards from car to elevator to ground to desk to the fourth floor and do that five times a week twice a day that’s going to accumulate quite a bit,” Garber said.
In a statement, the institute, affiliated with Johns Hopkins Hospital, said the dog was not necessary for Garber to perform his job duties.
Garber was paralyzed from the waist down after surgery to remove a fibrous mass that developed on his spinal cord. He was a teenager when his family started making regular trips from Ohio to Baltimore so he could receive restorative therapies.
As a patient, Garber appeared in several videos produced by the institute, such as the one above.
He wrote an account about how the insitute had changed his life for a hospital publication called, “Potential.”
And he was also featured in a report on WBAL last year, during which he mentioned his plans to participate in an upcoming marathon, and his hopes of taking part in the Paralympics.
His athletic conditioning may have played a role in the institute’s judgment that he didn’t need a dog to pull him around the workplace.
So too might have a lack of clarity on whether his dog, Scooby, was a certified service dog.
Garber said he got Scooby last year and trained him to pull his wheelchair.
Scooby proved so helpful that Garber started bringing him to work.
“They basically said that Scooby is a pet and he is not essential to my job, and I am not going to be able to use him,” Garber said.
Several months after Garber started using his dog at work, he was told the dog would no longer be allowed. Since then, he has quit the job and left the state.
Kennedy Krieger said in a statement, “We determined that his pet, which may or may not have been a service animal, was not a necessary accommodation for him to complete his job-related responsibilities. However, we did over the course of his employment make reasonable accommodations, at his request, to help him perform his work duties more comfortably.”
(Photo: Garber during an adaptive sports ski trip in Colorado, Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 8th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, baltimore, disability, dog, dogs, employee, institute, kennedy krieger, marshall garber, ohio, paraplegic, pets, pulls, rehabilitation, restorative, scooby, service dogs, spinal cord injury, supporter, therapy, wheelchair
Leave it to a tissue-making company to come up with a tear-jerking dog ad.
And while I’m surprised it has taken them this long, I’m very glad they did.
This Kleenex social marketing video features Chance, a dog who was left partially paralyzed after he was hit by a car. He was scheduled to be euthanized when a San Antonio rescue organization pulled him from the shelter and found him a home.
That home was with Mike, who isn’t “wheelchair-bound” by any means, but also uses one to get around.
“My husband was like we have to get him because nobody is going to love him like we’re going to love him,” his wife Stacey recalls.
San Antonio Pets Alive reports on its blog that Chance was “more than ready to be in the spotlight.”
The video depicts how Chance and Mike don’t let too many things get in their way, and how they seem to bring out the best in each other.
“I knew his struggles as well as mine, and I knew we could overcome those obstacles together,” said Mike.
“The difference Chance makes in my life is the happiness and the courage to know that there isn’t anything that anybody can’t do.”
(This series looks at how dogs are used in advertising. You can find more of our “Woof in Advertising” posts here.)
Posted by John Woestendiek June 30th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: ads, advertisements, advertising, animals, chance, commercials, disability, dogs, in, kleenex, marketing, pets, san antonio pets alive, social media, wheelchairs, woof in advertising, woof!
Prom night wasn’t on the agenda for seniors Delaney Johnson and Nick Ackerman.
The two teens, both with disabilities, go to different high schools and hadn’t even met until their service dogs — in a way — brought them together.
Nick, who has a service dog named Troy, was interviewing Delaney, who has a service dog named Griffin, for a school video project on service dogs.
Making small talk, she asked him, “Are you all geared for prom?” When he told her he had no plans to go to his, she volunteered to go with him. He accepted.
With their service dogs along, they attended his school’s prom, then hers.
A Lansing State Journal columnist and photographer went along — and you can find their story and video here.
Delaney, 17, goes to Haslett High School, where, before she got her 2-year-old Dutch shepherd Griffin, she would faint or pass out up to 20 times a day due to narcolepsy.
Between medication and help from Griffin, that condition — and a second neurological condition called cataplexy — have been brought under control.
Her dog acts to distract her if she’s experiencing anxiety and, in case of an attack, he’s trained to stay with her, lying on top of her if she becomes incapacitated so that she feels protected.
“Since I got Griffin, I’ve not had any major cataplexy attacks at all,” said Johnson, a singer and songwriter who plans to take Griffin with her this fall to attend Grand Valley State University. “…He’s my own personal little bodyguard.”
Nick attends Forest Hills Central High School in Grand Rapids, where he’s a champion debater. His service dog Troy helps Nick, who was born without arms, do everything from carrying things to zipping up his coat.
Nick, who plans to attend Eastern Michigan University in the fall, met Delaney two weeks ago, when he interviewed her for a class project on service dogs and the subject of proms came up.
On May 2, they went to his prom. Last Saturday, they went to hers.
The columnist and photographer accompanied the foursome — from home, where they posed for family photos, to a sushi dinner and then to the prom itself.
“I was going to stay home and eat ice cream and watch movies,” Delaney said later. “I’m just so glad I went…It was an amazing time.”
(Photos by Matthew Dae Smith / Lansing State Journal)
Posted by John Woestendiek May 13th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, disabilities, disability, disabled, dogs, high school, michigan, pets, prom, prom night, schools, service dogs, students
Here’s a sweet little story out of Albany, Minnesota, where a dog named River — described as part pointer, part “Walmart greeter” — serves as both friend and inspiration to many in the small town.
River lost the use of his hind legs after being attacked by two larger dogs while out on a walk.
But he has persevered, and — aided by a set of wheels — he’s enjoying his walks as much, if not more, than he ever did, his owners say.
Carol Mader says River seems more concerned about the people around him since his injury.
“He pulls out the people, I think, that are hurting.” she told KARE11. “It’s just like he senses they need attention.”
“He has no use of the back legs at all,” says her husband, Herby. “Probably a lot of dogs would give up, you know, where he’s not.”
River’s veterinarian Dr. Wendy Womack calls the 11-year-old dog “a regular icon” in Albany, a town of about 2,600.
The Maders take River for walks four or five times a day, during which he makes new friends and revisits old ones.
“…I always see him every day, twice a day, three times.” says Ron Koczur, who lost a leg to diabetes and greets River from his wheelchair. “Even though he’s lost of a couple limbs, he’s still happy and proud.”
Posted by John Woestendiek August 20th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: albany, animals, behavior, cart, disability, dog, dogs, empathy, friends, handicaps, minnesota, perseverance, pets, pointer, river, sensitivity, social, walks, wheel chair, wheelchair, wheels
You’d think a big hotel-motel chain would know and share the rules when it comes to service dogs — even one whose inns are “individually owned and operated.”
By federal law, service dogs are allowed. No ifs, ands or buts.
But a Best Western in Baton Rouge, citing its policy prohibiting dogs, recently denied reservations to a North Carolina family whose golden retriever serves as an epilepsy alert dog to their 13-year-old son, Beau.
Chip goes everywhere with Beau, who has a rare type of epilepsy called Landau-Kleffner Syndrome. “Chip alerts us to when Beau is having a seizure,” Beau’s mother, Karen Vaughn, told KPLC.
But after Vaughn made an online reservation at a Best Western in Baton Rouge, pointing out that service dog Chip would be among their party, the motel notified her that the reservation was being refused because the inn doesn’t allow dogs.
Vaughn, who is an attorney specializing in the rights of children with special needs, said that after she raised a stink the corporate office called back, a week later, saying they would honor the reservation. She said no thanks.
Normally, we would say sue the pants off the motel’s individual owner, and sue the pants off Best Western corporate honchos, too.
But Best Western has an unusual corporate structure — one they’ve argued doesn’t comprise a profit-making corporation, but is more of a cooperative. All hotels are individually owned and operated, and Best Western, from its headquarters in Phoenix, provides only reservations, marketing, brand identity and support services.
Individual owners of Best Western inns are allowed to make their own rules — but not rules that violate federal laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act.
A Best Western spokesman told ohmidog! that the Baton Rouge motel has been temporarily banned from representing itself as a Best Western hotel.
“Best Western International has restricted the hotel on our reservations systems and we have required the hotel to stop representing itself as a Best Western branded hotel (cover or remove all Best Western signs and logos) until its representatives attend a hearing at our corporate headquarters at which their future association with Best Western will be decided,” he said.
“Best Western International requires each independently owned and operated hotel to comply with all federal, state and local laws and standards, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). We provide extensive training to ensure our hotels understand and address the needs of guests with special needs. When this matter came to our attention, we immediately provided direction to the hotel and a reservation was offered to the family.
“We deeply regret the matter and we will continue to proactively communicate ADA requirements and training to Best Western branded hotels to ensure all guests are treated with the utmost dignity and respect.”
Best Western’s website boasts about their 1,600 pet-friendly locations.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 26th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: alert, americans with disabilities act, animals, baton rouge, best western, branding, cesar millan, corporate, corporation, denied, disability, dogs, epilepsy, federal, headquarters, hotels, law, lodging, louisiana, marketing, motels, pets, reservation, responsibility, service, service dogs, travel