Aaron Munn and Mobility Assist Dog Vida
By anonymous author
Aaron Munn of Spring Lake Park, Minnesota has Friedreich’s ataxia, a genetic, degenerative muscle disorder. It affects Aaron’s legs so he relies on a wheelchair to move around his environment and his arms, hands, and speech are also affected. Despite the struggles Aaron has with his mobility, he keeps a positive attitude and takes life one day at a time. Aaron’s partner, Mobility Assist Dog Vida, has made life easier, happily lending him a helping paw.
It all started several months ago when Aaron decided to get a pet dog. During his search, he began to realize an assistance dog might be a better option for him so he looked into a Mobility Assist Dog. During his search, Aaron contacted an organization in Arizona, and they referred him to Can Do Canines.
Mobility Assist Dog Vida entered Aaron’s life in May when they began their team training at Can Do Canines, and shortly after, Vida moved into Aaron’s home. The team also attended many training outings to businesses throughout the community, strengthening their teamwork.
The training process was a lot of work, but well worth it. Soon Vida was readily helping Aaron with daily tasks: retrieving dropped items, tugging open the fridge, closing the fridge and cupboards, picking up items and putting them into baskets or buckets, and even helping tug clothing items off. “It was worth the work!” Aaron says of the training process. “Vida’s a great help.”
Now Aaron and Vida are settling into their partnership. “It’s great to hang out with Vida and see what she can do,” says Aaron. “Retrieves are definitely her favorite.” As a team, Aaron and Vida work together at home and in public, but Vida gets downtime too. She loves to play ball, and Aaron takes her to his brother’s house to play in the fenced yard. “It’s a pretty nice life with Vida,” he says.
Aaron encourages others to look into assistance dogs. Here is Aaron’s advice for others considering an assistance dog: “Make sure you’re living in the right situation. [Assistance] dogs aren’t just any kind of dog—they’re a little different and have different rules [than pet dogs].”
Aaron would like to express his heartfelt gratitude for the donors and volunteers who made Vida possible, “Thanks for everything! It’s a pretty cool thing to do.”
Thank you to all those who made this partnership possible:
Puppy Raiser: Jennifer and Shane Newman
You: Thank you for your donations!