We’re starting a new feature called “Spoiled dogs of the week.” The idea is to feature a doggyloot customer and his or her dog (or dogs) by getting to know them a little bit. Let’s just say our first entry is setting the bar extremely high. Please read this amazing story! And if you and your dog (or dogs) would like to be featured, please email me at email@example.com.
Val Franklin lives in Davison, Michigan. She has a brittle bone disease and is only three feet tall. Her two dogs pictured above, Ryver (left) and Sunny (right), play a major role in her life. I’ll let Val take it from here and share her story.
Tell us about your dogs.
“Sunny is an 11-year-old golden retriever. He is a rescued dog and also my first service dog. He and I worked together until a year ago when he retired to be my pet. Ryver (pronounced “river”) is a three-year-old golden retriever. He is my second service dog, allowing Sunny to retire.
“Ryver and Sunny are complete opposites. Sunny is quiet and thoughtful where Ryver is playful and goofy. I love them both so much it hurts. Sunny transitioned easily into retirement but I think he is somewhat resentful of Ryver who, being so young, requires a lot of attention. Sunny gets acupuncture every other week for his arthritis (it has been so good for him), so that’s our special time together in addition to the time I spend with him at home. Ryver is tennis-ball crazy and loves to go outside and play fetch.”
What makes your dogs great?
“There are so many reasons. I got Sunny when I was 16 years old, a sophomore in high school. He is trained to open interior and exterior doors, bring me the phone, go get help (find someone and bring them back to me), push an emergency button, put his front feet on counters to give things to a clerk, retrieve dropped objects, and push exterior door buttons, among other little things. He graduated high school with me and then we went off to college away from home. He lived in the dorms with me and we lived alone for two years while I finished my pharmacy degree. I don’t think I would be a pharmacist today if it weren’t for Sunny. He was my rock when living alone got scary and he was my support whenever I was injured and needed him to lean on to walk. Even in the last year he was working, when I knew his joints hurt him a lot and he was at times rather ill, he never let me down.
“Ryver came along just when I needed him. He started out life as a show dog and after earning his UKC Champion title, his breeder decided he didn’t meet her high standards for breeding and contacted my trainer to see if she’d be interested in buying him. After she met him she knew he was the perfect dog for me. Ryver is very gentle, especially when he’s working, and because he is bigger than Sunny he is able to offer me even more physical support and in addition to the same things Sunny can do, Ryver is also trained to take stairs one step at a time to help me climb up or down if there’s no handrails. He can also “brace” for me by standing stock still so I can use him for support if I fall and walk extra close to me so I can use him for support if I need him while walking.
“One things that’s kind of cool is that Ryver has gotten to meet some celebrities. I’m a huge fan of the TV show Supernatural (on the CW) [that’s Val and Ryver pictured above with Jared Padalecki from the show]. Ryver and I have been to two conventions in Chicago put on by Creation Entertainment. In October 2011, I entered Ryver in the costume contest at the Convention and we won! I’ve met so many wonderful people through the show and I’m hoping to use Ryver’s “fame” to give back in some way. He’s such a wonderful boy 🙂 [Ryver even has his own Facebook page!]
When did you join doggyloot?
“I just joined doggyloot in early November 2011 but I’ve already purchased at least three of the daily deals! doggyloot has helped me with my Christmas shopping!”
Photo courtesy of Valarie Franklin and taken by Jena McShane.
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