Roger Tottingham & Mobility Assistance Dog Wynn
Roger Tottingham, a retired Navy veteran lives in Oronoco, Minn. with his wife Linda. Roger has had multiple sclerosis for 42 years and he uses an electric wheelchair as a tool for mobility. Keeping his independence is one of Roger’s biggest hopes and one of the very reasons why he decided to apply for an assistance dog from Can Do Canines.
Beautiful, loyal, well-mannered and energetic are a few words that describe Wynn, Roger’s two-year-old black Labrador. She was placed with Roger as his Mobility Assist Dog and she’s known at Can Do Canines as a dog who loves to work. Wynn is trained to open and close doors, retrieve Roger’s socks and shoes and she picks up items he’s dropped like pens, his wallet and his cell phone. Roger notes, “The most interesting part of training with Wynn for me was all of it. I’ve got to admit, it’s been a lot of fun!”
“Sometimes, I call her a goofball in the morning because she’s so excited to wake up and start the day.”
Tugging and retrieving are a few of Wynn’s favorite activities as well was playing fetch and going for walks. In the winter, when it’s too cold for Roger to safely take Wynn out for walks, Linda will bundle up and help out. When they come back in from the cold, Roger will instruct Wynn to tug off Linda’s gloves and coat and give them to Roger so he can hang them up in their closet. Then, while Linda takes her boots off, Roger will ask Wynn to retrieve Linda’s slippers for her. Everyone in the Tottingham household benefits from Wynn’s love of work!
Roger and Linda found out about assistance dogs through their local VA Department. “We were originally thinking of adopting a pet dog, but my wife mentioned looking into getting a service dog after we learned about them through the VA.” After researching Can Do Canines further, Linda called for an application. “I wanted an assistance dog because I hope to stay as independent as possible,” says Roger.
To the teams of people who raised, trained and placed Wynn, Roger expresses his thanks. “Wynn was passed between trainers and volunteers and now realizes that this is her home now. Thank you for all of your work in getting her ready for me.” Because of, volunteers, fundraisers and donors like you, Roger and Wynn are a successful team who continues to learn and train every day.
Thank you to all those who made this partnership possible:
Puppy Raiser – Wendy and Mitch Peterson
Special Thanks – The Inmate Handlers at the Federal Correctional Institution, Waseca, The Inmate Handlers at the Federal Prison Camp, Duluth