Service Dog (in training) and Quad Trainer

Losing a four-legged angel is never easy, but there is only so much misery you can take before accepting that each one of them is unique and that rescuing a dog does NOT replace your lost one. He or she comes into your life to guide you and teach you new lessons.

After losing our second dog (beagle/lab mix) Brandi A.K.A. “little troublemaker” in November 2015, life got a little too quiet… The mandatory daily routine of going out two or three times a day for walks and play time had ended and I’d go days without leaving my apartment, just sitting by the computer working and of course, gaming.

As February sneaks up on us, silence grew louder and the need for a dog became stronger… It was time! Enough with such quietness! The search for a German Shepherd (yes, my favorite breed) started, and we came across a gorgeous pitch black, four-year-old girl with the sweetest eyes ever… Onyx chose to rescue us on February 22nd and so a new chapter in our lives began.

Onyx was a backyard dog, not used to people and shy/reserved. She reminded me of the Night Fury in “How to train your dragon” and “my little dragon” became her first nickname. Our first two weeks were spent running around the building’s parking lot, getting used to each other, bonding and learning how to heel without getting her toes run over; however, my little dragon was C-R-A-Z-Y about squirrels and would almost pull me out of my chair to chase them down.

Fast forward to Mother’s Day 2016, rolling down a sidewalk at lightning speed (8 mph) with my little dragon when an evil squirrel decides to run right in front of us and clumsy me hits the brakes and yanks her leash all at once thinking she’ll lounge at the quarter inch beast in disguise, but… for a fun twist of events, my actions sent me flying out of my chair and landing face first on the sidewalk. My little dragon became my “little guardian” (second nickname) as she hovered over me while we waited for rescue to arrive. Seven stitches on my nose and a broken femur later, I was released from ER and went home to a highly worried German Shepherd who paced around me until she was finally allowed to jump on the bed and lay next to me… And our bond just grew stronger by the minute. The next three months went by working on her prey drive (with a very patient trainer) while I recovered from the fracture.

Once we were both strong enough and sure of what we were doing we ventured to the park for some off-leash play time, that is when I had to accept the fact that Onyx’s “happy place” required a tennis ball which, clumsy me had never been able to manage; soooo… Time to get creative in order to give her a bit of the same devotion she gives me, but how?

I present to you the “quad ball thrower”, a round coffee-cup-sized plastic container with Velcro straps glued to the bottom and of course, PLENTY of duct tape wrapped around to secure the straps (yes, they kept falling off). Now we get to spend over an hour at the park with me throwing the ball up in the air, and her doing some fantastic acrobatic jumps to catch it (my range sucks, so we stick to high balls).

With our bond a zillion times stronger now and her awesome and funny personality flourishing, Onyx gets to play with other pups, allows some people to pet her, and has such a happy face when it’s her time that it makes it a priority to give her that quality time; after all, the patience that she has with my clumsiness, and the number of times she has to pick up the thrower and wait for me to fasten it, keeps me in a forever debt with her!

So I hereby officially introduce you to my partner in adventures, Onyx, the German Shepherd Angel that is by my side in everything I do, no matter how fun, boring, loud or claustrophobic the experience may be.

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”

I Can and I Will

As a quad, one of my biggest issues when participating in any sport is endurance.

Let’s talk about the stationary handcycle I use and why I like it.

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