Diesel's Dog Defenders

A personal campaign sponsored by Jennifer Harrington

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Dear Friends and Supporters,

I decided to start a See Spot Walk team, in honor of our dog Diesel (whom we adopted in 2014), and our three prevous dogs, Terran, D'Nu and Iris. 3 of our 4 dogs have come from the Idaho Humane Society. The IHS does so much for so many animals in our community, but they need the help of community members like you and me to carry out that mission.

Early in the year of 2014, Kermit and I had promised our son Canyon (who was undergoing treatments for cancer) that upon reaching remission of his disease, he could get a dog of his own. In July of the same year, Canyon was in remission, and our family was no longer having to travel frequently for Canyon's treatments.

After a trip to the Idaho Humane Society Canyon picked out our current dog, Diesel. After looking through 3 offsite locations, 2 rooms of kennels at the IHS and about 200 dogs overall, Canyon found Diesel in the 4th to the last kennel and knew instantly that Diesel was the one. After a couple of hours of getting acquainted with Diesel in the IHS play yard, he came home with us that evening.

When we asked about Diesel's history, the IHS worker helping us told us that Diesel had been siezed by the IHS for severe neglect. It was unbelievable to us that anybody could treat such a great dog with such indifference and uncaring.

The longer that Diesel has been a part of our family, the more we realize what a great dog he is and the more we have come to love him. He is sweet, loving, intuitive and a bit of a clown. He would easily put his life on the line to protect any one of us, but shows no sign of aggression towards other dogs or people. In fact he tends to be very submissive to all other dogs, even those that are a fraction of his size. He shows little intrest in the numerous toys we have bought for him; it is all about other dogs and people.

This need for human contact has had a few challenges. Due to his severe separation anxiety (presumably from the neglect and indifference he experienced as a pup), he was almost impossible to keep in our well-secured yard. He would literally battering-ram his way through the wood picket fence to go find human companionship when left alone, even with our other dog Iris for company. We explored numerous different solutions before solving the problem. Also, we suspect that water from a garden hose had been used as a punishment for Diesel, as he would run, hide and cower every time we got the hose out in the back yard, or anytime we attemped to give him a bath. Slowly, we have gained Diesel's trust, but he still gets nervous, and stays near an escape route when we are using the garden hose, but he no longer hides or cowers.

After a 1 1/2 years of being part of our family, Diesel is well-adjusted and is a very important member of our family. He has proven to be a huge source of emotional support for our family, especially after our son Canyon replapsed in October of 2014. Diesel was been a constant source of comfort for all three of us. Even when we have to travel for Canyon's treatments, Diesel does well, as he is so well behaved and sweet, that friends and family members are more than willing to care for him during our absences.

In fact, Diesel is so sweet and intuitive, that I have considered training him as a therapy dog to visit kids in the hospital. I have seen first hand how happy therapy dogs have made Canyon in the hospital, when he has to be away from his dog. After Canyon is healthy and no longer undergoing treatments, I would like for us to be able to give comfort to other kids in Canyon's situation through Diesel.

Please consider helping the IHS in their mission to find forever homes for dogs like Diesel. He has made such a positive influence in our lives, that we would like to give back so that other neglected, abused and abandoned dogs in our community can have a happy ending.

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