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Today at the RAGOM (Rescue a Golden of Minnesota) Goldzilla event, I had the opportunity to meet Faith the Two-legged Dog in person! Her story is an inspiration to us all and it applies especially aptly to my pet loss presentations wherein I discuss how we can determine whether our pets are living a quality life. Most of us would have understood Faith’s mother’s impulse to push the pup away to euthanize it because, due to its lack of front legs, it couldn’t nurse. But a human being intervened and brought home the special needs pup and, over time,she made it abundantly clear she was happy to be alive. She would eventually teach herself to walk upright on her hind legs! (And numerous veterinarians have tested her and assure us her hips are A-OK.) 

Not all animals would do this, but Faith obviously knew she was here on Earth for a very special reason. She is now literally a member of the U.S. Army (although she cannot be deployed), and does active duty as a therapy dog, helping countless vets recover from both physical and psychological injuries caused by their service. The VA doctors report vets opening up far more when Faith is with them than when they are alone in therapy. This is one amazing dog on a tremendously important journey. Blessings on her and the family who gave so much of themselves to raise and train her. Faith now does presentations the world over and is reportedly one of Oprah’s favorite guests!

I was so moved by her story, I donated one of my books (“Good Grief: Finding Peace After Pet Loss”) to her owner, Jude.—Sid


Join me and many other fine vendors for this year’s Goldzilla Fun Fair/Walk to raise money for Rescue a Golden of Minnesota (RAGOM). This event takes place on Saturday, September 17 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Island Lake Park, Shoreview, MN. SW corner of I-694 and Victoria Street.

Meet another Pet Pro,  Stacie Shaw, owner of Central Bark Doggy Daycare in Edina, Minn.
I met Ms. Shaw at a wonderful Winter-Weary-Westie Party she hosted last weekend for about 50 of my favorite critters. Her daycare has been credited for bringing Caleigh, a shy, frightened Westie, out of her shell. Her owner, Deb Theisen, says Caleigh’s been a changed dog, much more confident and eager to interact with others since coming regularly to Central Bark.—Sid

Stacie with Bailey and Hannah

After graduating from Marquette University, Wisconsin native Stacie Shaw faced a cardboard Jack Russell Terrier staring at her in her living room.  Having grown up with dogs, she wanted her own dog to share her life with. However her parents advised against it, saying, “You work such long hours, who will shower your dog with attention and love while you are at the office?”  Thus, Stacie’s parents delivered a cardboard terrier to hopefully satisfy her urge for a dog. The terrier was only a temporary solution.

In 1999 Stacie began volunteering with a rescue organization called GRROW (Golden Retriever Rescue of Wisconsin).  Through GRROW she learned of a puppy mill rescue trip to Iowa, and ultimately adopted one of the rescues – a 2 year female golden named Bailey.  Because Bailey led such an abusive, unhappy life prior to being adopted, Stacie sought opportunities for Bailey to gain confidence, trust, friendships, fun and love.  The right place was found at Central Bark Doggy Day Care, where Bailey became a regular. What an amazing difference Central Bark and its staff made in Bailey’s life!

That was how it started for Stacie (and Bailey, and later another golden retriever named Hannah). Stacie caught the Central Bark fever and there was no turning back. Meanwhile Stacie kept volunteering for dog-related causes and participating in animal-related courses, to learn all she could about the well-being of our canine friends.

The decision to pursue her dream of opening a Central Bark meant relocating, and Stacie chose the Twin Cities to be her new home. Ms. Shaw transitioned her volunteer efforts to RAGOM (Retrieve a Golden of Minnesota) and to Pets with a Purpose, where she and her dogs regularly visit Alzheimer’s patients. Stacie, and her canine consultants Bailey and Hannah, welcome you and your dog to visit Central Bark Eden Prairie and see what a positive impact we have on your dog, and on your parent/dog relationship.

Central Bark Doggy Day Care

6340 Industrial Drive

Eden Prairie, MN  55346

P) 952.224.4490

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