February 1, 2012

White Dog and the White Dog Army
Wonderful World Wednesday

 White Dog and the White Dog Army are inspired by two powerful sayings that we keep posted in the office:
“No one can do Everything, but Every One can do SOME Thing…”

… and the story of the boy rescuing starfish on the beach. He is told he is never going to save the lives of all of the stranded fish. His reply as he returned yet another to the sea, “Yes, but I sure made a difference to THAT one!”

The WDA believes that one person, two or four-legged, CAN make the world a better place with an action that may not even be noticed as extraordinary and, further, we think these actions form a chain of positivity and goodness that can take your breath away with the strength of its magic.

Consider this story of a pup saved from death because a rescue group posted his photo, a father who would not settle for “no”who saw in the picture "something", and the dog who has made a major difference to a dying boy.

By Michelle Leifer, Vetstreet.com Wednesday, February 01, 2012  republished from Good News Network

As nearly anyone who has adopted a pet from a shelter can attest, there’s something special about a rescued animal; it’s as if they can sense they’ve been given a second chance at life. That’s certainly the case with Juno, a Belgian Malinois who was adopted just days before she was to be euthanized. But since coming to live with her family in Alcoa, Tenn., she, herself, has taken on the role of rescuer to a dying boy whom experts believed was not suited for any service dog.

Four-year-old Lucas Hembree suffers from Sanfilippo syndrome, an inherited, metabolic disease that causes children to lose the ability to speak, walk and eat. The disease also causes severe neurological damage that leads to aggressive behavior, hyperactivity and seizures.

With no cure or treatment currently available, Lucas isn’t expected to live past the age of 15 and may be in a vegetative state by the time he is eight. Realizing that every moment is extra precious, Chester and his wife, Jennifer, wanted their son to experience as much as he could while still having the capacity to enjoy life.

When the disease started to take a toll on Lucas’ joints, Chester looked into getting a service dog to keep Lucas steady when he walked. “I was told that a service dog would cost at least $15,000, and that Lucas wasn’t a good candidate because of his deteriorating abilities and his behavior,” Chester says. “I refused to accept this answer.”

A combination of prayer and persistence led Chester to Juno. “I came across a posting about her on a rescue group’s website,” he says. “I had the feeling in my gut that I had to go see this dog.” The whole family made the two-hour trip to meet Juno, who was being held at an east Tennessee shelter. “She was emaciated, and was days away from being euthanized,” Chester says.

“She had been surrendered to the shelter because her previous owners didn’t understand the breed.” Fortunately, Chester did. He’d gotten to know and love the Belgian Malinois while working as a law enforcement officer years earlier. “I loved their desire to work and their ‘never quit’ attitude

The Hembrees brought Juno home and showered her with love and affection. From the beginning there seemed to be something instinctive about their relationship. One day, Chester noticed Juno circling Lucas while he was in his wheelchair. “She was whining and nudging him with her nose,” Chester says. “I checked his oxygen levels and they were very low.” After giving him oxygen, Lucas returned to normal and Juno greeted him with licks and affection. “That’s when I knew she had the ability to pick up on his neurological changes,” Chester says. “Now she alerts us when Lucas is about to have a seizure or if his oxygen levels drop really low. She has saved him several times."

Juno has become a literal shoulder for Lucas to lean on when walking, and a calming influence when he becomes agitated. And while Chester makes sure that Juno gets time off, he says that it’s hard to get Juno to leave Lucas’ side. “You don’t see one without the other close by,” he says. “It really feels like it was meant to be.”

To learn more about Lucas you can go to the Facebook page his dad writes about Lucas.


rottrover said...

Wonderful story. Thanks, WDA!!

-Bart and Ruby

Wyatt said...

Love that story....keep em' coming!


Nola said...

Such a great story! I sent this boy a Christmas card
Dachshund Nola

Amber DaWeenie said...

I do believe that Juno is an angel sent from Heaven to watch over Lucas and help him to have the best life possible. Dogs are amazing!

Mr. Pip said...

We have always loved the starfish story.

Gosh, this story of Lucas and Juno is amazing. We have chills. What a beautiful bond.

Your pal, Pip

GOOSE said...

MOM and I sent him a card. And the starfish story is one of our favorites.

24 Paws of Love said...

That was the best story I heard all day. What an awesome family for believing in their boy and Juno.

Just amazing. Sometimes it is so hard to believe that there is anything real or good out there, until I come here and read about all the love you share and it's such a great feeling.

Pee.S. Thank you for your belief, we believe one day we will be a home of one as well. :)

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Someone shared the starfish story with me, and I have loved it ever since.
It is amazing when someone- human or furry has been given a chance and be discovered that they too can make a difference.
All furrys need to be given chances and not tossed away like garbage.
Its so sad to hear of the ones - who were not given chances-
thank you for sharing this

Bailey Be Good! said...

We also sent a Christmas card last month, and are keeping him in our prayers! :)

Woofs & hugs, <3

~Bailey (Yep, I'm a girl!)

FiveSibesMom said...

What a great post! We sent him a Christmas card too! Our canine companions so some pretty amazing things!

Dog Fence said...

.,What a great post, very touching.,wonderful story..keep posting

bichonpawz said...

We sent him a Christmas Card too! This is such a wonderful story. So, so good for both the little boy and for the dog. It is definitely a match made in heaven. Awesome team!!

haopee said...

I read this story and shared it with my friends. Really heartwarming and unforgettable.

I wish I read the other stories you mentioned about but there were no links.

Huggies and Cheese,


Brian said...

That is truly so very wonderful.

Isis said...

hello dear friends, wonderful eskies! Stopping by to say hopefully sister will get some good photos of us soon, hoping she will help us blog a bit more. It's not so easy these days!

Remington said...

Great story, my friend....

Random Felines said...

Mom read that story and thinks it is so true. Not only does that boy get a friend and service dog (trained by his dad!!) but they saved a life from a shelter.... very cool!!

Ginger Jasper said...

That is such a beautiful story and how much that lovely dog is giving back for being rescued. just lovely.. HUgs GJ xx

Teddy Bear said...

Such a beautiful story.

Teddy Bear & Sierra

Sagira said...

What a beautiful story.
I was just talking to a lady yesterday who lost her Weimaraner after 14 years. She was telling me about she was this dogs 5th home and everyone just kept passing him up. She told me how special he was to her and the best dog ever. I told her that you always hear one mans trash is another's treasure and sounds like she found the gem.