Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really.
~Agnes Sligh Turnbull
I follow several dogs on Facebook. Some are devoted to social causes, all are ambassadors for goodwill and kindness. They give me something to smile about on days I might rather be under the covers.
I follow pages that interact with people on their timelines and encourage and inspire their communities. They have followings large and small and deserve every “like” they have. Here are the first five of ten I will list in two posts:
1. Ray Charles the Golden Retriever:
Ray Charles is a two-year old golden retriever that was
born blind. According to Ray, who speaks through his page, he believes he was born blind so that he could help inspire others who are born with physical/mental disabilities to always live their lives to the fullest and do as much as they can with what they are given.
2. SSD Honza: SD Honza is a yellow lab who served seven years with the United States Army. While on active duty SSD Honza deployed to Afghanistan and saved countless lives locating over 400lbs of explosives during his year long deployment. SSD Honza has conducted security sweeps for the President and Vice-President, Dignitaries and countless others. He is now retired and living with his handler in Pennsylvania.
“SSD Honza helped keep our troops alive in Afghanistan, but he has also been an ambassador of goodwill towards the sick and injured. In this picture he was in the middle of training for a deployment to Afghanistan, SSD Honza when took some time from his day to allow a little boy with cancer to fulfill his dream of becoming a Soldier. Wes Pak was made an Honorary K9 handler, and helped SGT. Nolan and SSD Honza complete the obedience course!”
I know and appreciate both John and Honza. Their story is featured in the eook In Dogs We Trust via a story by war dog author and advocate Kevin Hanrahan.
3. Surf Dog Richochet: Is an “internationally renowned, award winning, 6 year old golden retriever therapy and surf dog who has become an inspirational phenomenon, philanthropic role model, internet sensation, fundraising marvel, community advocate, goodwill ambassador, and muse to millions!”
Ricochet has been in movies, on TV, on billboards, in Times Square, in commercials, and in hundreds of media sources including the Oprah Winfrey Network, People Magazine, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Evening News With Diane Sawyer, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC and many more….
Surf Dog raises funds & awareness for human/animal causes like wounded warrior service dogs. To date Ricohet has raised $300,000 and a million bowls of food for needy animals.
4. Charlie Boy:
“Charlie Boy was trained by The Seeing Eye to guide U.S. Army Sergeant Major Acosta who was blinded after shrapnel ripped through his head in Iraq in 2006. When Charlie Boy started guiding the sergeant major in 2007, his master began to share his own freedom by soothing wounded service members with PTSD & serving as an example of overcoming their injuries. Charlie Boy escorts the Sergeant Major throughout the U.S.to help him raise funds for injured warriors. In addition, to guiding the Sgt. Major through airports, he also visits incarcerated prisoners throughout Southern California. This 125-pound German Shepherd allows his master to travel to and participate in bike rides & even golf tournaments as well as events where his veteran is a motivational speaker & an advocate for wounded warriors.”
Follow Charlie Boy
5. Service Dog in Training Ice:
I know Ice personally and LOVE this goofy pup.
“Ice is a golden retriever puppy in training for My Angel With Paws, a service dog organization that trains dogs for people with disabilities. He will spend up to the first 2 years of his life with me, his puppy raiser. Then he will return the main facility for final training and placement with his forever person. It is unknown as of now what type of service dog he will be but he could possibly help someone in a wheelchair, someone who needs a brace dog, someone who has seizures, the list goes on and on. It all depends how big he gets and what skills he can do.”
You will love this page as much as I do. Sarah his trainer is a gifted photographer.
And while I won’t list Gander in the top ten, I do hope you will follow him of you don’t already:
Gander was rescued from a shelter in Pueblo, Colorado where I was born. He was trained in a women’s prison at Canon City, Colorado and later selected for training by Freedom Service Dogs and paroled to me in Chicago after we trained three weeks together. We now travel the country and advocate for veteran suicide prevention, and PTSD and service dog awareness.
Gander is featured in the book In Dogs We Trust and this blog chronicles his adventures. As of the writing, Gander has 215,000 friends on Facebook.