Blind Pug Serves as a Therapy DogBy: Brian Powell - February 1, 2014
When he was a puppy, Xander the pug suffered an injury which resulted in the loss of both of his eyes and difficulties breathing through his nose. Instead of deciding to love him more than ever and give him the extra care he deserved, Xander’s owners dumped him at the Klamath Animal Shelter in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Fortunately for Xander, this life moment would prove fortuitous as he would be adopted by loving owners who would go on to find Xander’s purpose in life.
Rodney and Marcie Beedy would adopt Xander from the animal shelter when he was 1 years old. After his initial meeting with Xander, Rodney stated, “I loved him. Just his personality and everything, I was saying ‘I take this dog, he’s going to make a fantastic therapy dog.”
Shortly afterwards, Rodney and Marcie enrolled Xander in the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen program. It took Xander only 3 weeks to pass a basic obedience class and become a Pet Partners Therapy Dog. By being certified through the AKC to become a therapy dog, Xander is now allowed to visit those in need at hospitals, nursing homes, and schools.
When asked what makes Xander such a good therapy dog, Rodney replied, “It mainly was his gentleness and his ability to adjust to the circumstances. If he was with one person, he would play. If it were another person, he would calm down nicely. He’s very gentle with what he does.”
Due to his line of work, Xander often finds himself immersed amongst a large group of young and excitable children. No matter the circumstances, however, Xander is up to the challenge: “If I was blind and in a crowd of people on top of me I would be freaking out. He has no qualms whatsoever. He has a good stable temperament.”
While the work Xander does is commendable, his owners would rather Xander be able to retire: “It would be great if Xander didn’t have a job. There would be no hurting kids out there. If Xander didn’t have a job that would be wonderful. He would just play all the time.”
Unfortunately, Xander has much work to do in order to accomplish his life’s mission of ending violence. Until that day comes, Xander will continue to provide love and nurture for those in need.
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