I was born with a rare birth defect called an arteriovenous fistula. It is an abnormal connection between an artery and a vein and in my case it resulted in a malformed vessel that affected my liver and gall bladder and resulted in my having no portal system or way to get blood from my stomach to my liver. My condition is not hereditary and all my litter mates were healthy.
How I survived my first nine weeks with no signs of illness is a mystery. The first surgery saved my life and the second saved it again and they pinpointed my problem. That was at the University of Tennessee where we left with a “guarded to poor” prognosis and not knowing if I would ever be able to have a normal life, but in the hopes that my Mom could give me a reasonable quality of life with medication and diet.
So far I have surprised everyone and done more than survive. I compete in both AKC and UKC Rally and Agility Events. I started my career as a Therapy Dog visiting Ronald McDonald House to cheer up families of children undergoing medical treatments. How cool to give back after all my medical challenges!
Mom and I wrote a wonderful book “Hold My Paw” to inspire others that they could do anything and reach their goals. We started going to events where I would autograph the book with my paw print and let everyone feel much better after petting me. That’s my job, you know!
Since I am a dog with a disability, I was excited to learn that HEAVENDROPt helped people like me to have jobs, learn skills and feel good about their accomplishments. And they made products that I look great wearing. Of course, I wear my bandana and sometimes I, also, wear my patriotic glasses and holder all made from retired used military parachutes. Sometimes I wear a people parachute necklace too just so people will know I am a girl!
So if you see me at a HEAVENDROPt event, please ask my Mom if you can feed me green beans or apples, as they are my favorites, since I can’t have protein and regular dog treats.
I love being the official HEAVENDROPt spokesdog. My Mom and I hope that it inspires people to know that everyone can do something to make a difference!