Guest author: Kelley Fecteau (Rainbow Service Dogs)
When I think of CGC dogs, the story of brother and sister littermates who have overcome tremendous odds always come to mind.
Mugs and Truth had come to Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) in the autumn of 2013. They had been found along with their mother and three siblings in a local dumping ground. Both Truth and Mugs had suffered multiple gunshot wounds and they were severely dehydrated.
It was no surprise that with this horrendous start in life, both dogs were extremely shy when they first arrived at PACC. By November, Truth was behaviorally stable enough to be adopted. On a home visit, we found that Truth was terrified of going up stairs. Going down was no problem. Mind you, Truth was a 65-pound dog; she was certainly not easy to carry. But when it comes to dog training, persistence pays off and after a week of training, finally, one day she got it and up the stairs she went.
By December, Mugs was also doing well in training. We heard of a couple who was specifically looking for a larger dog. Again we went back to Pima Animal Control Center and tested several dogs. The couple brought their grandchildren to ensure the dog chosen as a new family member did well with them as well.
Mugs was chosen and he went to his new home. About a week later, while looking at the copies of their paperwork, I realized the background on both dogs matched and had the same date. I confirmed they were in fact the siblings I met several months before. Mugs began to attend classes immediately, and when he and Truth first met after their long separation, the expression between the two was amazing. They wagged their tails, and jumped towards each other with clear signs of recognition.
Around the beginning of January, Truth began refusing to get into the vehicle or leave the house on various occasions. Each time within a half hour to an hour, her owner would experience a seizure or a cardiac episode. It seems that Truth had some natural ability as a seizure detection dog. Truth remained in classes and she has passed the Canine Good Citizen, AKC Community Canine (advanced CGC) and Urban CGC tests.
Still in training, Mugs has passed the CGC test with flying colors. As a result of consistent training and dedicated owners who love these dogs, both overcame and survived above and beyond all odds. To this day, when the brother and sister see each other, they wag their tails, get a little excited, and then turn and go on their merry way toward whatever their great new lives have to offer.