One of the reasons that we moved out to ten acres to grow our
kennel was to "make people happy" by giving them a new family member that has
that right temperament. We discovered that "the right temperament" is also key
in training service dogs. After we donated several males to a couple of
service organizations, we realized that some of our dogs were destined for this
wonderful cause! It's our way of giving back to the community.
We have donated our puppies to these wonderful organizations
listed below. Click the links and take a few minutes to learn about them.
You may want to become involved in some way! They are always in need of
supplies, monetary donations, and especially puppy raisers.
Staff Sergeant Juan Amaris’ story
really first began in a small village outside of Bogota, Colombia. When
Juan was ten years old, his mother came to America to provide her family a
better life and Juan was placed in a military school in Colombia. In June
of 1999, he came to America and in 2001 enlisted in the U.S. Army. After
serving his first tour in Iraq in 2003-2004, where he suffered minor
injuries, he fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming an American citizen.
A dream only realized after he fought so bravely for this country.
After tours of Ft. Bragg, and in Alaska,
Juan returned a second time to Iraq where he served another year at F.O.B.
Courage. In 2006, Juan was only one month away from being deployed back to
the U.S. when an event occurred that would forever change his life. The
base was closing and because they were short of personnel, Iraqis were given
the job of transporting heavy eighteen wheel trucks carrying T-barriers to
the next base. The Iraqis were known for stealing fuel. Juan saw the men
gathered around one of the trucks and walked back to investigate. Just as
he reached the truck, the Iraqis began to run and the truck exploded into a
ball of fire. Juan was on fire too. With his shirt burned to him, he ran
to the nearest grassy area and tried to roll the fire out. The flames were
too strong for him as again he ran, this time to fellow soldiers screaming
for help. The flames extinguished, he lay there for 20 to 30 minutes
waiting for a medical helicopter to take him to a hospital. Fully
conscious, he lay in pain the entire time until the medics administered the
shot that brought welcome sleep.
After four days , Juan awoke in Brooke
Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. He had no idea at the time how
badly he was injured. The doctors soon told him that he had sustained third
degree burns over seventy three percent of his body. One hand had to be
amputated, and he has since lost the other. His chest and neck were so
badly burned that he could not bend his neck.
Flash forward to 2010, Juan still
resides at Brooke Army Medical Center. His ongoing therapy and rehab have
been painful and difficult. He has learned to use two prosthetic hands for
many things, others cannot be managed. Juan’s greatest wish now is for a
dog that can assist him with dressing, picking up objects from the floor and
restoring some degree of independence when he is able to go home.
is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer" - Lt. Col. James H.
This is the quote I first thought of when I had the opportunity to sit down
with Sergeant Major Brent Jurgerson. The heart of a volunteer…. He
is an imposing figure of a man, built as one would expect a soldier to be,
but his physical presence pales in comparison to the character within.
He was no stranger to war for he had been injured before while serving in
Balad, Iraq. A bullet penetrated his mouth and lodged in his throat and for
many, that would have been the end of their service. Some people would have
returned home, recuperated, and gone on to lead normal civilian lives. And
that would have been expected. But Sergeant Major Jurgerson had made a
promise to the families of the men and women he led in Iraq that he would
take care of their loved ones. Knowing he couldn't stay out of the action
and fulfill that promise, he volunteered to go back. And it was
during his second tour, on January 26, 2005, while working Recon patrol in
Iraq, his world forever changed with an explosion and darkness.
That attack left him an amputee, a disabled American veteran. He will tell
you there are thousands upon thousands of men and women just like him and
that each and every one of them has a story to tell. He doesn't want to be
the focus of any article, no matter the reason, because he feels there are
far too many veterans from far too many wars that have never been heard.
And he's right. But his story, while it may not be unique, is a direct link
to Houston. No, not Houston the city, but Houston the service dog given to
Brent by Patriot PAWS Service Dogs in Rockwall, Texas.
Sergeant Major Jurgerson had the opportunity to visit Gatesville, Texas to
tour the Laine Murray and Craine Units of the women's correctional
facility. It was there, in the confines of metal and brick, that he learned
how ordinary dogs became extraordinary service dogs, trained by inmates to
eventually become the dedicated worker to a vet. It was there that he met
Houston. Houston is an amiable, beautiful yellow lab with a huge heart and
a willingness to please. These are traits Lori Stevens, Founder and
Executive Director of Patriot PAWS says are necessary in any potential
service dog. The instantaneous bond that occurred between Sergeant Major
Jurgerson and Houston was obvious, to both man and animal.
And so, many, many months later, I was there while veteran and dog trained
together prior to Houston's departure to live with Sergeant Major Jurgerson.
I asked him what he hoped to gain with Houston in his life and he said he
hoped to be more independent, that perhaps his loved ones wouldn't have to
worry about his safety when he was alone anymore. And I suspect Houston
will offer far more than just independence. Patriot PAWS trains its dogs
with 35 base skills, everything from retrieving keys and dropped items to
bringing drinks from the refrigerator and alerting someone if the veteran is
in need of help. Houston will be greatly missed at Patriot PAWS, but I
believe if he could have volunteered to be a service dog, he would have.
I genuinely appreciate your
continued support for our program. Your previous donations have turned out
to be wonderful service dogs and service dog candidates. They have a
wonderful temperament and disposition and learn quickly. I can't wait to
see how this little girl will progress. Patriot Paws
This little female, #9 from
Pomona and Russ, was selected by Therapetics. She is going to make
someone very happy!
Here is Barbara Lewis,
President of New Leash on Life selecting a puppy from Phoebe's litter.
This is "TRIPP" from
Psyche's litter. He is in training with Canine Sidekicks in Houston.
This is "MAVERICK" who is
training with Patriot Paws in Dallas, TX. He and his brother below are
from Psyche's litter.
I am raising one of the puppies you recently
donated to Patriot Paws. They named him Mustang and his brother is
Maverick. I have to say I am MOST impressed with Mustang. It is very
obvious that y'all as his breeders took a lot of time and care with the
litter and didn't leave them out in a kennel in the back yard. He is very
well socialized for a puppy his age and quite self-confident and
self-possessed. I have yet to see him be afraid of anything (including the
vacuum cleaner!). When it is time to get another dog, I would be most
interested in getting one of your wonderful dogs. I can only hope it would
be as great a dog as Mustang appears to be. I already have no doubt in my
mind that unless something entirely unforeseen happens, he will become an
outstanding service dog in a couple of years.
All three of these pups are
from Vesta's litter; two sisters and one brother. Donated to NLOL
All three of these pups are
brothers from one of our litters. Donated to NLOL