Life Before Rex
Vicki has adapted to life with Parkinson’s over the past 18 years. It makes basic tasks challenging and at times unsafe, such as getting in and out of the car, using her right hand, leaning over, or walking. She reached out to Can Do Canines in the hopes of finding a dog who could provide the mobility assistance she needed.
Can Do Canines paired Vicki with Rex, a two-and-a-half-year-old Black Labrador Retriever with the skills of an assistance dog champ. Rex performs such duties as picking up dropped items, alerting a family member if Vicki needs help, and opening and closing drawers and doors. He helps tirelessly and with great loyalty.
Having to reach anything low or pick things up was possible, but it would take its toll on Vicki. “I bent over and got what I needed, but that didn’t help my back,” she explains. “When Rex picks stuff up I don’t have to bend over.”
Rex allows her to be more independent, and not as reliant on her husband or others to help her. Beyond the safety and security that he has added to her life because she doesn’t need to exert energy carefully moving or battling fatigued muscles, she feels stronger. “I have gotten more distance with my walking,” Vicki shares.
The enhanced quality of life is most obvious for Vicki, and it has alleviated the worries of her family as well. “It gives us better peace of mind as her children,” daughter Staci says. “We know that she does have more assistance with Rex. Now that he’s learning things like, ‘Find Help,’ that’s really key, as well. We all feel a little bit more relieved knowing that Mom is getting out more, and she is doing more things… I think I can speak for my sisters when I say we are really grateful for him and it’s been a really positive change.”
Vicki appreciates all the hard work by the volunteers, trainers, and donors. “You did a good job with him,” Vicki says. “All the training they did makes a big difference.”
To help us place even more life-changing assistance dogs, donate today through November 14 with GiveMN/CandoCanines, your donation will be matched dollar for dollar thanks to a generous match sponsorship!
Thank you to all those who made this partnership possible:
Great Start Home: Kris Kurtz, Jamie Mueller
Puppy Raiser: Kelly Lindemann
Special Thanks: Jackson Correctional Institution
Name-A-Puppy Donor: Austin Kraft
Whelping Home: Kolleen Herr
You: Thank you for your donations!