7 Things My Dog Taught Me
Just like DOGS, we often go back to the same garbage or abusive relationships or lifestyles that keep bringing us down.
Below are "7 Things My Rescue Dog Taught Me"
In Honor of National Bullying Prevention Month I would like to pay tribute to my dog, and partner, Snickers. Like a K-9 Dog to the police officer they are assigned to, they become partners. For over thirteen years Snickers was my partner and advocate against bullying and abuse.
We did everything together. Even entered silly contests!
I had no idea that this abused, runaway dog, I’d nearly ran over with my van would be my best friend, partner and Savior. In the beginning I didn’t want this dog and tried everything to get rid of him.
His #1 Project was to get me to adopt him. It took a few days, but he wouldn’t give up. Even when I did the unthinkable and tried to lose him on a walk a couple miles from our house, he found his way back. That’s when I said he could say. I thought I was rescuing him.
His 2nd Project was to heal everyone in our family, which was no easy task. We were a mess, inside and out. We’d all been abused/bullied, and some of had mental and life threatening disorders. It took a few years, but one by one, he accomplished the task at hand.
His 3rd Project was being the Mascot for our Abuse Bites Anti-Bullying Program—AKA “The Bully Buster”. He was perfect! He even learned a series of tricks to help educate kids. And he was good with kids of all ages.
His 4th Project was to help the needy and abused—Rescue both people and pets. In the hot and cold, sleet, rain or snow, he stood by my side to collect donation to help others. He wore many costumes, even dressed up as the Easter Bunny AKA the Easter Beagle and gave Easter Baskets to Needy Children. Together, we raised over $20,000 for our local community. We have also took numerous rescue dogs into our home over the years, nursed them to health, and found them fur ever homes.
His 5th Project was to be a therapy dog and help others heal. I couldn’t believe what a natural he was when I took him to the nursing home to see my mom. Everyone loved him. He passed the therapy dog test with only ten days of training and became certified through Therapy Dogs International. From there, we logged on more than 150 visits our first year and won 2 Awards. We also entered parades and other events and won numerous awards together for our therapy work.
His 6th Project was to be a trainer, to teach others the ropes of obedience and pet therapy. Together we taught classes through our Dogs that Heel and Heal Program for other dogs and owners. We’ve taught group classes for the community education program and offer private lessons as well. We also work with aggressive and bully dogs, offering behavior modification, agility, and now do service dog training.
His 7th Project was to show me I could go on. With age, Snickers grew tired and pulled back--he just wanted to be a dog. So I let him. I stopped using him in pet therapy and obedience training sessions and only took him on fun walks and to our anti-bullying workshops, allowing him to sleep on the floor beside me if he wanted. During the last two years of his life, he developed painful tumors all over his body. Yet, every day of his life, he wagged his tail and gave kisses to me.
A month ago I had a feeling that Snickers wasn’t going to be around much longer, so I took a short video of him. I’m hoping to edit it this week and post it for next weeks blog. No one knows what that dog has meant to me, my family, or our community. He wasn’t just another dog, he was my best friend, partner and advocate against abuse, and rescuer and healer of my life and so many others.
People often thank me and give me credit for what has been done through our organization and work, but truly, the one to thank is God for sending Snickers into our lives—without him, without them, I would not have been able to do anything.
This week I face the one thing I’ve always dreaded—doing an assembly without Snickers by my side. I have a double assembly for junior and senior high students this Thursday. Please, if you can, remember me in prayer this week, that I will have the strength to be able to get through this and continue his legacy.
Together, we can stop abuse, bullying and violence. Click Here to Learn More About How You Can Help!
Lisa Freeman is a youth motivational speaker from Owosso, Michigan and offers anti-bullying asssemblies in schools and communities. She is also a dog trainer who speicalizes in obedience, pet therapy, behavior modification, agility, and service dog training. She rescues both people and dogs. Book an anti-bullying assembly in your school or get into her dog training/pet therapy program. Contact her Today