We have had a number of our walkers ask us if we could include their dog in our walk!
The answer was, “of course” but then I learned that people wanted to count the steps of their furry friends and that took us some time to figure out if that was something we could, should, would do. But in the mean time we heard very powerful testimonials like these:
“One of our fellow As family members thought about ending her life she had everything ready and in place. We had been talking about my service dog and how much he helped me. We are all very lucky that member did not choose to end her life but called a neighbor until her husband could get there. She talked about how she felt and that she wanted to try to see if a dog would help her, that day she went to the shelter and found her wonderful service dog. Her dog was scheduled to be put down that day, so you see they saved each other. I am happy to report this person is still here ,getting out, walking, returning to the life she once had . She is happy and smiling – that dog saved her . I don’t know if this story will sway the vote to let our dogs count but in my opinion and this persons opinion is that for some of us our pets are our support group and they are just as important as our friends or family walking to support us and our cause.”
“Our sweet Ace doggie, a border collie, had to be put down two years ago because he had A.S. Did you know dogs get this also? His spine fused in his sacral area and pinch off the nerve pool at the base of his spine. He could no longer walk or lift his legs. We were on the same meds for one year before we could let him suffer no more. Kevin, another Spondy, had to put his dog down recently for the same reasons.”
“My friend and team walker is visually impaired and Rosie Dog goes everywhere with her. Rosie was allowed to take part last year and my friend will not take part if Rosie Dog’s steps are ignored as she and Rosie are a partnership.”
Pretty powerful & compelling reasons to count our furry pal’s steps! There will be naysayers and that is fine – aren’t there always. And I do feel that we should know exactly how many steps are attributed to our pals so we’ve come up with “pAwS for our cause” and all the steps that are taken by our four legged friends just need to be set apart so we can share with the world the amazing support we get from these very important members of our family.
Please let your team captain know if you would like your pet to be a part of the walk & those steps will be handled by your team captain.
We’d love to see your photos of you and your dog Walking your A.S. Off so send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Also – let us know what you think in the comments below.
For more information on how pets benefit our health – here is a great article!