Kasey's story... oh boy, where to start... Kasey was owner released to rescue in April 2009 when she was 11-mos old and her family realized they weren't able to keep up with a young active shorthair. She was born 5/1/2008 with an AKC birth certificate (sire: No-Mars Buck Vom Enzo; dam: Germany Jill Von Staigle) but there was no contract with the breeder. She had been raised with small dogs & cats and had even been given some professional hunt training. She was extremely birdy, not noise shy and had the most wonderful temperament we've ever seen. She was also clumsy. At first we attributed it to her being a gangly pup and thought she would outgrow it. She didn't. She did however seem to improve in a foster home where she got regular long runs in the foothills. Kasey went to a home with someone who wanted a serious hunter and companion. Within 2 weeks they noticed she was stumbling on the stairs and was wobbly in the front end. We had them take her to one of our vets and, w/o benefit of x-rays and expensive tests, their best guess was something akin to Wobblers which is not common in shorthairs but it can happen. She would never be a serious hunter. We were devastated at the thought of euthanizing a dog who was rock solid with cats, dogs and kids.... so we didn't.
Aug 2009: In June Penny had the good fortune to meet Kathy at a dog training seminar in Olympia WA. Kathy had been doing therapy work with a gsp and commented that Flash was now 10-yrs old and she was looking for a new therapy dog. Kasey seemed a natural for therapy work with her incredible temperament and her neurological issues might be an asset when working with people with similar challenges. We had x-rays done of her neck (showed no problems) and after conversations between our vet, Kathy's vet and the neurologist at WSU everyone's "best guess" was that Kasey probably has some kind of cerebellum development problem and, while there is no cure, it's not likely to get worse and there is no reason she can't enjoy a full and active life as a pet/therapy dog.
In late July Kathy & Doug made the trek from Olympia to Boise in triple digit temps to meet their new best girl. Kasey had some busy weeks ahead meeting her new brother Flash (he approved), the cats, the vet and even a trip to an assisted living center where she was a huge hit with the residents who love nothing more than a head in their lap and soft ears to pet. Kasey's favorite thing too!
Words can't express our appreciation to Kathy & Doug for taking on a special needs... er, make that just "special"... dog who was on the verge of being euthanized just because she couldn't be a serious chukar hunter. We wish Kasey a long and productive life helping others to turn challenges into success.
Dec 2011: Big news! Kasey passed her Delta Society Pet Partners Skills & Aptitude Test (PPSAT) and is on her way to becoming a working therapy dog. She continues to visit at the assisted living facility where I volunteer and she loves to go there and they really love to see her. She is going to make a great therapy dog as she calms down. Maybe the PAWS to read program will help her with that as it is primarily just sitting or laying quietly while kids read to her. Actually Flash thinks it's pretty boring but I think Kasey will be more patient with it.
Jan 2012: New pictures from Kasey's December trip to Oregon. Kathy writes Kasey had a ball sleeping int he king sized beds at the motel, playing on the beach and all the fun walks. These pictures were taken near Remote OR, a little town between Roseburg and the coast. She and Doug had been for a long walk, hence the long tongue, but she loved every minute of it. She had her Delta physical just before we left and couldn't believe she weights 70 lbs now. In these pictures she looks thin but she actually has a little tummy and otherwise is solid muscle. She is going to make a great therapy dog and we're really lucky you introduced us to her. She's a great addition to our family. Even though Flash is getting old and doesn't have as much energy he still loves to romp with her part of the time. Right now he's asleep on the couch and Doug and Kasey are off for a run. Hope you had a great holiday. Best wishes to you and your pack.
Visit the Photo Gallery for more photos of Kasey.
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