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Jan 10
2011

Never Give Up: Two-legged dog brings hope to human beings

Posted by: Cathy in Mental Health

Tagged in: puppy , mental health , hope , give up , faith , Dog , army

Cathy

          Walking with Faith. It’s not an easy thing to do, especially when Faith is a two-legged dog. The eight years old Labrador-Chow mix inspires hugs, smiles and even tears, hobnobs with celebrities, jet sets around the world and has even been made an honorary sergeant in the U.S. Army.

          Faith’s owner, Jude Stringfellow told us, “She’s an inspiration!” Faith, who was brown without front legs in 2002, was rescued by Stringfellow and her husband. After Stringfellow knew the fact that Faith couldn’t be fixed, she was so disappointed. However, she never gave up and Stringfellow thought they could help the dog even though she couldn’t be cured. At the beginning, they Stringfellow had to carry Faith to keep her off her chest and chin, but with peanut butter and practice, Faith learned to walk on her two hind legs. Stringfellow taught Faith to walk by luring her with spoons of peanut butter. Since then, Faith has been on “The Oprah Show” and has rubbed paws with celebrities including Lindsay Lohan, Samuel L. Jackson and Ozzy Osbourne.

          Faith is also a regular at U.S. Army bases and military hospitals, lifting the spirits of wounded troops and veterans, for which she was named an honorary E-4 Army sergeant.

             
          That sense of hope is especially important for Faith's visits to Army bases. Last weekend she headed to Washington State, where she met with as many as 5,000 soldiers at McChord Air Force Base and Fort Lewis. Some of the soldiers were headed to war, some were coming back.

          "She just walks around barking and laughing and excited to see them all," Jude Stringfellow said. "There is a lot of crying, pointing and surprise. From those who have lost friends or limbs, there can be silence. Some will shake my hand and thank me; some will put her on the head. There is a lot of quiet, heartfelt, really deep emotion." Faith never fails to bring a smile to a soldier's face, said Patrick Mcghee, general manager at Fort Lewis.

          Nowadays, Faith has been scheduled to go to the U.K. to boost the spririts of British troops wounded in Afghanistan, and from there, if quarantine rules can be met, she could be deployed on a more dangerous mission: helping the U.S. troops on the front lines.

          Stringfellow, who rescued Faith in 2002 when she was a puppy after the dog was rejected by her mother, said: “It’s top secret, but let’s just says that she might be dressed up on Halloween. She might be knocking on the Taliban’s door for candy. She would likely be begging for Gummy-bears and peanut better.”

         After advised to euthanize the pooch, Stringfellow began to carried Faith around for first few months of her life. “They totally forget about their problems” Stringfellow said. Strongfellow get dozens of letters and e-mails from fans every day, and these fans run a website that features video and inspirational messages. In addition, fans also keep adopting dogs, recently adding two more to the family they rescued from an alleged puppy mill. “We have to stop puppy mills”, said String fellow.

“Life is different and beautiful”

          Actually, Faith brings a powerful message about overcoming adversity. One of a Faith’s fans said: “Faith has shown me that different is beautiful, that it is not the body you are in but the soul that you have.”

          Stringfellow will never forget a woman from New York who happened to see Faith on a street corner. She was depressed and had lost both legs to diabetes. “She was in her wheelchair and saw us. She was crying and had seen Faith on television. The woman just held her and said she wished she had that kind of courage.”Stringfellow said. The woman told Stringfellow: “I was on my way to pick up the gun.” She handed the pawn ticket to a police officer and said she didn’t need it anymore.

 

Comments (3)Add Comment
mysterylister
...
written by mysterylister, Tuesday, 02:00 AM, January 11, 2011
The true spirit is the bond between these dogs/animals guys and the handlers/owners they have.
jay11284
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written by a guest, Tuesday, 01:42 PM, January 11, 2011
This is a great article! Thanks so much for this inspiring story!
Cathy
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written by Cathy, Tuesday, 02:41 PM, January 11, 2011
yes, I'm totally agree that an excellent bond between animals and their owners is a biggest support for these disability animals. Acutally, helping the animals is also the way to help ourselves.smilies/cheesy.gif

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