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

Modern Dog - - CONTENTS - BY ROSE FROSEK

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.