Tricia Ward & Neo – Seeing With Your Heart
Tricia contacted Pets Helping People because she felt Neo, a St Bernard/Beagle cross, had ‘something special’ to share. Just prior to starting the training program Pets received a call informing us that Neo needed eye surgery due to a serious infection. As it turned out Neo needed to have his eye removed, the infection was so bad. He was a trooper bouncing back to the silly self he was. Seeing no ill effects from the loss of one eye Neo re-enrolled in our training program. Again, shortly before class began we received another call from Tricia. The infection had spread to the second eye and Neo would in all likelihood loose his remaining eye and be completely blind. Not knowing how Neo would take to being blind Tricia’s hopes for Neo remaining part of their family, let along becoming a therapy dog hung in the balance. But Neo had other ideas. He was not about to let something as small as not having sight stand in his way of living a full life. He rebounded from the second surgery with amazing confidence and love of life. Seeing how easily Neo had adapted to a life without sight, Tricia reached out to Pets and wondered if we’d consider allowing a blind dog into the program. Given all that Neo and Tricia had been through it was as if he was already telling us he had special gifts to share. Neo and Tricia passed with flying colors. Neo visits the special education classroom at Schulte Elementary school in Racine where his quiet presence imparts a calming energy allowing the children to better focus on their studies.
We want to thank all our teams for their spirit of volunteerism, for freely giving of themselves and for sharing their dogs with others.