Archive for the ‘Service Dogs’ Category

Ricochet

September 24, 2010

I just had myself a good cry, and who wouldn’t after watching this video featuring an amazing dog named Ricochet (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iIv5t2qKL4).  C’mon now, no one likes to cry alone- please watch it for yourself and report back on whether it was a one or two tissue viewing!

I love Ricochet’s story.  She’s a gorgeous Golden Retriever who was slated to be a service dog for people with disabilities.  She proved to be a bit of a handful, so much so that her human companion Judy Fridono disappointingly gave up on the career aspirations she had for Ricochet.  As Judy stated, “I struggled for 18 months trying to make her something she wasn’t.”  Little did she know that, not only would Ricochet become a service dog enhancing the lives of many people with disabilities, she would do so while riding a surfboard!  This wonderdog has been the “main event” at several fundraisers and, in doing so, has raised more than $50,000 to support people with disabilities (during tough economic times, I might add).  She recently received the highly coveted AKC award for canine excellence. Please check out Ricochet’s story at www.surfdogricochet.com.  You’ll also find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/surfdogricochet.

I hope you will “catch the wave” of Ricochet’s pure golden goodness and contribute to one of her many fundraisers.  After watching the video mentioned above (and after wiping my eyes and nose) I emailed Judy to say, “I simply cannot imagine our lives without dogs- they brighten our lives with so much joy, wonder, and grace.” Judy’s response….. “Can’t imagine life without dogs.  They’re our best teachers too.”

Now here’s wishing you and your four-legged family members abundant good health. 

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of  Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association 2009 Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, 2009 Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, 2009 Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.

You can support your favorite rescue group.  The Speaking for Spot Gives Back Program shares a portion of the sales proceeds with approved non-profit organizations when you purchase a book via the Speaking for Spot website and designate the organization at the time of purchase.

Speaking for Spot Gives Back

May 9, 2010

Wonderfully fun names such as “A New Leash on Life,” “Wags to Riches,” and “Fairy Dogmother Rescue,” are to be found at PetFinder.com. This is definitely the place to go in cyberspace when thinking about adopting a new pet.  Before I go one step further, rest assured I am aware that the PetFinder site likely features some puppy mills amongst their gazillions of legitimate nonprofit organizations.  I’ve no doubt that in spite of the fact that PetFinder performs their due diligence, some puppy mills likely slip through the cracks.  In my mind, this does not detract from the profoundly positive outcomes PetFinder facilitates.  Rather, it means that we need to perform our own due diligence when using this website.

At the time of this writing, PetFinder features 13,184 nonprofit adoption groups (shelters, humane societies, SPCA’s, and rescue organizations) and over 297,457 pets in need of a new home. PetFinder states that they’ve facilitated more than 13 million adoptions since 1995. Wow, that’s one heck of a lot of animals’ lives changed for the better!  I have a tremendous respect for the many thousands of people who invest their time, energy, and financial resources helping animals in need of a new lease on life.  Their generosity and desire to “give back” are inspirational.  I’ve initiated the Speaking for Spot Gives Back Program with hopes of providing a little bit of support for the amazing work they do. 

The Speaking for Spot Gives Back Program is open to all animal-centered nonprofits including service organizations and adoption and rescue groups.  Here’s how the program works.  Participating organizations appear on a pull down menu on the purchase page of my website (www.speakingforspot.com). When someone purchases Speaking for Spot they can designate which nonprofit organization will receive 20% of the book sale proceeds. The Speaking for Spot Gives Back Program is a win-win situation – not only will participating organizations raise much-needed funds, those who purchase the book will have a wonderful resource that will last a lifetime!

Please support your favorite animal-centered nonprofit organization by encouraging the folks who work there to learn more about the Speaking for Spot Gives Back Program.  They can either contact me directly (Dr.Kay@SpeakingforSpot.com) or visit http://www.speakingforspot.com/speakingforspotgivesback.html.  And when you are ready to expand your own menagerie, I hope you will begin the search at your local rescue organizations, shelters, and humane societies.  Have you already adopted from such an organization?  If so, I’d love to hear your story!

Best wishes to you and your four-legged family members for abundant good health, 

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association 2009 Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, 2009 Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, 2009 Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life

Website: http://www.speakingforspot.com
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook 

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, or your favorite online book seller.

Online Connections Thanks to Speaking for Spot

October 28, 2009

 It has been a year since my book Speaking for Spot was released, and what an amazing year it has been.  I’ve learned more than I ever thought possible about the book business.  I’ve traveled with Spot, met many Spot fans, and was interviewed by one of my all time idols on Fresh Air with Terry Gross.  As word of Speaking for Spot has spread, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many wonderful people online and have thoroughly enjoyed hearing about their lives and their doggies.  Here are a couple of examples. 

Carolyn is a wildlife biologist living in Belize.  I’m jealous! My family had the good fortune of visiting Belize a few years back- my husband and I fantasized about not returning home!  Carolyn has provided me with some photos of her menagerie of dogs.  I sense that Maggie is the apple of her eye.  It’s no wonder- take a look at the photos of this insanely adorable little dog. 

Maddie and Carolyn

Maggie and Carolyn

Judy shares her life with Ricochet, an incredible Golden Retriever who loves to play in the waves, but not in the conventional canine fashion.  Ricochet rides a surfboard!  As Judy describes it, “Ricochet was slated to be a service dog for people with disabilities.  But she had too strong a chase drive, and I couldn’t trust that she wouldn’t try to chase birds while attached to a wheelchair.  I struggled for 18 months trying to make her something she wasn’t.  When I finally let go, she just flourished!” 

Ricochet and Patrick

Ricochet and Patrick

The sweetest part of Ricochet’s story is her special connection with fellow surfer, Patrick Ivison.  Patrick is a teenager who sustained a spinal cord injury and has now mastered the art of adaptive surfing. Patrick and Ricochet have surfed together as part of a successful fundraising campaign to raise money for Patrick’s physical rehabilitation program (donations are still being accepted at http://www.ripcurlricki.com/Donate.htm). To read more about Ricochet and Patrick, pay a visit to http://www.ripcurlricki.com/SurfinforPawsabilities.htm

Patrick and Ricochet

Patrick and Ricochet

If you’re like me, you just can’t help but smile looking at these photos.  Thanks to Carolyn and Judy for telling me about Maggie and Ricochet.  If you have a wonderful dog in your life (I’ll bet you do), I invite you to share your story!

Wishing you and your four-legged family members good health,

Dr. Nancy Kay
Specialist, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine 

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, or your favorite online book seller. 

Join our email list – http://speakingforspot.com/joinemaillist.html

Look for us on Twitter – http://twitter.com/speakingforspot

Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Listen to Dr. Kay’s interview – A Veterinarian Advises “How to Speak for Spot” on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross