Truly Thankful- Please enjoy a beautiful guest post from our friend Tamandra about her two amazing dogs Borias and Justice True:
“A wise person once said that we get the dog we need. I hear that a lot, as it definitely rings true with people.
I spent twelve years with the most incredible dog, A German Shepherd that I raised and trained to be my Service dog, to help with mobility tasks like pulling my wheelchair, and picking up dropped items. He was very special, and our bond was so close. He was my ‘heart dog’, which is one of those dogs most are lucky enough to have once in a lifetime, that you share a very special relationship with. Borias was that dog. We shared many adventures, spent every waking hour together. He was quite a character, and his big personality drew many admirers. The dog even met Betty White. Twice!
When I learned he had terminal cancer, I went into a tailspin, I was so incredibly devastated. Hemangiosarcoma is all too common, and it took him fast, only one month after the terrible news. He left a huge hole in my heart, and I though could never have such an amazing bond with a dog again.
Shortly after Borias’ passing, I heard became Facebook friends with a trainer that I was told about, who was in the sport of Schutzhund, and training in a force free way. She is not a breeder, but had just happened to be breeding a litter to get her next competition dog out of her male, and a really great German import female. I started to get intrigued. She was going to do early neonatal work with them based on a program called Puppy Prodigies. Small world, because my good friend, Judy, who is the famous Surf Dog Ricochet’s mom, started that program. I decided it was time to plan for a new pup to bring into my life, this felt right, like fate, meant to be…
So a new year, and a new life, new journey to embark on with a dog. I named him Justice True, since I’m a lifelong champion of social justice and human rights. And it was a really cool name! I wanted a high drive ‘sporty’ puppy this time, one that would excel at dog sports. I think I had an inkling of what to expect, but… I really had no idea what I was in for! I’ve learned a lot about training, and did well with my last dog using positive methods. But bringing up this boy threw one challenge after another my way. He was going to make me a better trainer.
I am also training him to be my Service dog, which is no easy task, given he is highly excited by so many things in the environment. He’s incredibly smart, and active, and constantly needs his mind challenged, and wants to work. GSDs (German Shepherd Dogs) will go out of their way to find a job to do. And that’s exactly what happened one day, when to my delight, Justice spontaneously started pushing me in my wheelchair… he just jammed his nose in my back, and pushed! I don’t even know how he came up with the idea, but he really ran with it. He loves to do it so much, that he started doing it all over the place, delighting everyone around us. Exclamations of “WOW! Look at that dog! That’s Amazing!”
Well, I think I have lucked out twice in a row, and Justice and I have formed a very close relationship. He has helped my heart to heal, and is a blessing in so many ways. He’s one creative pup- most Service dogs pull their humans in a wheelchair, he put his own spin on it with pushing me!
I think that he and I are going to do great things together. “
We have no doubt Tamandra. Thank you so much for sharing your inspirational story.