Life Is What You Make It
When Judy Walter saw past her own grievous injuries to help a dog in need, she ended up charting a course for a joyous new life, one spent helping both people and animals
When Judy Walter saw past her own grievous injuries to help a dog in need, she ended up charting a course for a joyous new life.
Here’s the essential thing that distinguishes one person’s life experiences from another’s: attitude. If, in our darkest moments, we can look past ourselves and our current challenges and, despite hardship, still choose to move forward and try to focus on something other than ourselves, amazing things can happen.
Just ask Judy Walter of Las Cruces, New Mexico. When faced with permanently debilitating injuries following a devastating car accident, instead of descending into despair when confronted with all the things she would no longer be able to do, she instead chose to take on a little dog more injured than her. In doing so, she changed not only both of their futures, but those of many other people and animals as well.
The little dog in question, now named Mango, had been found in a ditch in Fort Worth, Texas. She had been hit by a car and had multiple fractures of her spine and pelvis. The diagnosis? Permanent paralysis. She was scheduled to be euthanized.
Mercifully, a rescue group stepped in and pulled Mango from the shelter, and the small dog spent a year in the rescue healing before being placed for adoption. Ideally, they were looking for an adopter that was a Veteran of the service who would get Mango certified as a Therapy dog to work with disabled Vets. Judy, who had served in the US army for six years and was herself still recovering, saw this and recognized it for what it was: kismet.
Their journey together thus far has been marked by all sorts of triumphs, from helping hundreds of disabled animals get wheelchairs to winning the 2016 Hero Dog Award for Therapy Dog work. In May of 2017, Judy and Mango were officially accepted an Ambassadorship role with American Humane and now travel on the organization’s behalf. We asked this remarkable woman some questions about her remarkable dog. Prepare to come away inspired.