Dogs With Wings

What a cold, windy morning!  The weather report says it is 10C (or 50F), but I don’t believe it.  I searched through my closet for my heavy Golden Bears sweatshirt before leaving the house for my daily walk.

I met Jodi for a walk today.  Jodi is the children’s pastor at our church and her specialty is special needs.  She has a great disposition and I looked forward to our walk.  I drove to her her house in the Forest Lawn area of St. Albert – one of my favourites because it is older with established flora and fauna.  Beautiful.

We headed toward the ravine trail.  As we approached the ravine, we met Pria, a beautiful 6-month old pure black lab.  She seemed petite to me and her features in my view were exceptionally pretty.  Pria has a particular femininity about her.  She had the rambunctiousness of a lab puppy, eager to love and be loved, chomping on little sticks before tossing them about, etc.  In talking with her owner, we found out that he and his family don’t actually own Pria, but are training her for the organization “Dogs With Wings”.  Pria is from New York, and he will have her for a year for Phase I of her training to work with people with disabilities.  The training is actually quite vigorous…for instance, he told us they recently had to be by a pool with several other dogs and their handlers, and the dogs had to sit quietly for 1 hour beside the pool – and Pria did well!  When you commit to train a dog, they may not be left alone – they have to be with people 24/7.  And so this owner and his wife trade off taking Pria to work with them.  He is a contractor of some sort and his wife works for the City of Edmonton.  Pria is taken for training a couple of days a week, though, so they do get some relief.

As we talked and walked with Pria and her handler, I was filled with admiration for this gentleman and his wife/family.  It must be very hard to take in dogs as puppies, work with them, and then give them up after a year.  That is a real sacrifice that I don’t know if I could make – certainly I could not make it easily.

There are so many loving testimonies around us and I thank God for meeting one of them today!

Click here to learn more about Dogs With Wings.

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