I thought some of my dedicated and loyal fans (hi mom!) might be interested in learning about how we ended up where are right now.
Last February, I took my entire crew to our state capitol to participate in a medical marijuana rally. Obviously, there were tons of like-minded people there to talk to. One, however, stood out among the others.
She was a lovely young lady, with long curly hair and a fashionable red coat. In addition, she had at her side a large black dog. The large black dog was wearing a harness. Attached to the harness was a patch that said, “Seizure Alert Dog.”
I had to talk to that lady. Forget social awkwardness. I had to talk to her.
As it turned out, this fashionable, curly headed lady had, in fact, trained her own service dog. I took her information, which she gave me gladly even though I was some awkward, Pink Floyd tee shirt wearing weirdo who more or less cornered her and bombarded her with questions. I stayed in contact with her (Francie, as it turns out) and we talked about dogs and seizures and dogs who predict seizures.
Francie hadn’t just trained this large black German Shepherd named Segen, she had trained most of her own service dogs through the years. More than that–she had trained service dogs for other people, and did it on her own dime.
To say I was fascinated is an understatement.
This is Francie’s doggy soul mate, Segen. To know him is to love him. He changed Francie’s life, and as a result, changed mine as well.
We stayed in touch, and one day I received the following message: “I think I found you a dog.”
And so she did.
I won’t give you long version, although I tend to do that. Instead, I will tell you that she found us a dog that she knew in her heart would be a good fit for us. That’s what she does–she follows her gut and her heart, and she finds dogs for people who are having trouble with traditional service agencies. She has worked with dogs all of her life, and I consider her instinct to be infallible. I didn’t know it when I first met her, but it did not take me long to figure it out.
I have been training Dutch, the pup she found for us last year. He is shaping up to be an amazing dog, and has already shown proficiency for responding to Evelyn’s seizures.
See, Francie is extra special. She doesn’t just help you, she helps you help yourself. Teach a man to fish, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. In training Dutch, and in being in contact with Francie, I got to be there with her when she finally gave a name to the wonderful thing she was doing for people.
K9s to Furkids was born.
Now, I am volunteering for Francie. I’m her secretary. I’m learning about dog behavior and training. Mostly, though, I’ve given my own life so much purpose, and filled my own heart more than I ever thought I could. I am helping Francie find these dogs and even, on a limited basis and under her guidance, doing some of the training.
I’m meeting wonderful people and doing something to help people. I’m paying it forward, and trying to help others the way that Francie helped me.
I think there’s a lesson to be learned here. If a socially awkward wallflower like me, the chubby girl hiding behind others in a black tee shirt and jeans, can go up to a beautiful, smart, fashionable woman walking a large black dog and start a conversation, then so can you. You never know what the result might be.
Ask the question. Take the leap. You never know where it might take you.
It might lead you right to the dogs!
If you are interested in what we do, or know of someone who might be in need of a service dog, check out our website!
We are also on Facebook!