"People always say that Dare is lucky to have me.
Actually, I feel lucky to have him.
Dare makes me appreciate life."
- Tami Skinner, Dare's handler
From Puppy-Mill Victim to Beloved Role Model:
Dare, a 3-year-old sheltie, is the ultimate survivor.
This brave little dog was born in a puppy mill,
where his back left leg was bitten off when he was just a few days old.
Sadly, such injuries sometimes occur in mills --
the result of "cage crazy" behavior that dogs may exhibit in stressful,
Next, Dare's front left leg got caught in cage wiring,
dislocating the elbow and breaking in so many places
it could not be repaired.
He received no medical treatment for either of these devastating injuries.
Instead, Dare lived in severe pain until he was 9 weeks old,
when the puppy mill owners decided he was too "damaged" to sell
and gave him to a rescue group.
The mill was later shut down by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Tragically, Dare ended up losing both a front and a back leg
on the same side of his body.
But his luck was finally about to change.
Adoptive caregiver Tami Skinner entered Dare's life,
giving him a new home -- and new hope.
The two soon forged a powerful partnership.
At last, here was someone to give Dare the unconditional love
he had been craving. Someone to treat him like a normal dog,
encouraging him to walk and run on his own.
Someone to recognize that Dare's refusal to give in
is what makes him special, not his disability.
Today, Dare and Tami impart their message of healing and fortitude
to others with disabilities.
They are among the highly trained participants in
American Humane's Animal-Assisted Therapy Program.
In this vital role, the team regularly conducts animal-assisted therapy visits
at a facility for adults with disabilities, an amputee support group
and a school for children with disabilities.
Dare is in his element as a therapy dog.
He loves being the center of attention, and those he meets are impressed
by his courage and zest for life.
According to a teacher at the school that Dare visits,
"It is interesting that most of our students with special needs
immediately accepted Dare as he was, just as he immediately accepted them.
He reminds me that I need to let our students realize as much of their potential
as possible, not limit them by standard expectations."
The children are equally enthusiastic:
"He's just like me!" a child with a disability exclaimed with delight
during one of Dare's recent visits.
It was one of many remarkable moments inspired by a truly remarkable dog.
Please help American Humane continue to make such moments possible
by donating to our Animal-Assisted Therapy Program, today!
Tuesday February 17, 2009
Meet Dare, a two-legged Sheltie dog
who plays an important role
in therapy sessions for people with disabilities.
Dare was born with all four limbs,
but his back left leg was bitten off,
and his left front leg was caught in a cage
and broken in several places.
Dare gets some therapy himself
by swimming in a pool in Denver, Colorado.
Dare and his owner Tami Skinner visit amputee clinics,
special needs schools, and MS patients
to help them, therapeutically.
Multiple sclerosis patient Sue Sutton
embraces Dare during a therapy session.
Nick Harmon, also a multiple sclerosis patient,
strokes Dare as part of his therapy.
Dare rests one of his two paws on the leg
of another multiple sclerosis patient.
Dare has inspired patients
by overcoming his injuries and learning to walk
and run on his two legs.
Click Here, to learn more.
Monday July 20, 2009