Cindy Thoreson-Arnold and Mobility Assist Dog Glory
By Joy Miller
Cindy Thoreson-Arnold and Mobility Assist Dog Glory are a new team, but their relationship is already off to a solid and loving start. Glory, a Black Labrador Retriever, has been Cindy’s assistance dog since January 2018.
Glory is not Cindy’s first assistance dog, though. For 12 years before Glory, Cindy worked with Mobility Assist Dog Blue, a constant source of strength and support. Sadly Blue died in the summer of 2017, and Cindy was devastated at the loss not only of Blue as her Mobility Assist Dog, but also as her dear friend. “We grew older and slowed down together,” Cindy says, remembering Blue with tears in her eyes. “The day I had to say goodbye, he was following me everywhere. He even picked up a couple of things that I dropped. Even as he struggled, he was still there for me.”
But Cindy needed to move forward. “I needed the help … I needed to bond and love again,” she says. “I’ve been told I’m considerably happier since Glory came to me.” She’ll always miss Blue, but Glory is helping get Cindy’s life back to normal.
Cindy’s mobility challenges stem from hereditary spastic paraplegia, a progressive genetic disorder. In addition, she’s developed muscle atrophy from using a wheelchair for the past 35 years. She gets help from Personal Care Assistants, but the day-to-day details all belong to Glory. Helping Cindy get dressed, retrieving things she has dropped, opening doors, and many other tasks allow Cindy to function independently. Even if she is home alone, Glory can retrieve an emergency phone if Cindy needs more assistance.
She admits to being nervous about Glory’s arrival, whether or not they would bond, and if they’d be able to work successfully together. “I was scared, but I’m not scared anymore,” she says.
Cindy wants to continue learning more with Glory, and is more than happy to list everything he’s already learned in such a short amount of time. Cindy is definitely a woman with a mission—to teach Glory all she can, and become the best team they can be.
The thought of being able to thank everyone who helped bring Glory to her brings tears to her eyes again. “I’m just grateful that they took the time to raise a beautiful dog who is going to make such a difference in my life,” she says.
Thank you to all those who made this partnership possible:
Great Start Home: Nancy Sue Edgar
Puppy Raiser: The inmate handlers at FCI Waseca
Special Thanks: Cheryl & Christopher Gibbons
Whelping Home: The Merkel family
Breeder Host: The Merkel family
You: Thank you for your donations!