Braxton Wiebusch from Sartell, Minn. enjoys hunting, fishing, camping and competing in wheelchair hockey. He’s a 20-year-old college student with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a degenerative muscle disease that affects every muscle in Braxton’s body. Braxton and his family all wanted an assistance dog, but they were uncertain about this decision because of the fur allergies they collectively deal with.
Enter the playful and sweet canine, Blue. Blue is a handsome two-and-a-half-year-old Poodle who sports a white and brown coat. Not only is Blue specially trained as a Mobility Assistance Dog because of his temperament and abilities, but he also rarely sheds due to his unique hair. All of those things made Blue a perfect fit for Braxton and the Wiebusch family. Blue loves helping Braxton with things like opening and closing doors, picking things up from off the ground like his keys or the remote, and providing comfort to Braxton while staying in his room at night.
“It was getting a little harder for me to get things off of the ground. I thought an assistance dog would make a good companion and help me become more independent.”
Braxton found out about Can Do Canines while he was attending the Muscular Dystrophy Association Summer Camp. He chatted with a few of the other campers about their dogs and decided that he should follow through with their suggestions to apply. Braxton was on the waiting list for two years until Blue was ready to train and begin the bonding process. Braxton noted, “Being on the waitlist for a Poodle was well worth the wait. While they can be a little more challenging to train than a lab, they’re very smart animals and are completely worth it!”
It takes a village to raise, train and partner an assistance dog for clients like Braxton. With your help, Blue was given to the Wiebusch family free of charge. Braxton is very grateful for your support so that he can live a more independent life. He exclaims, “Your donations really help! The assistance dogs help people even when you may not see that. They help keep morale up and they offset the daily stressors that people have.”
“To the hands-on volunteers, keep giving your 100 percent effort with the dogs. It really means a lot to us because we know they were raised well and with a lot of love!”
Thank you to all those who made this partnership possible:
Puppy Raiser – The Inmate Handlers at the Federal Prison Camp, Duluth
Special Thanks – Mike Ferber
Dog Source – Trinita Mestuzzi