There is a special bond between pets and humans. For some with physical, emotional or mental handicaps, a pet can help a person find a reason for getting up in the morning. After all, everyone needs to feel needed and essential. Friends and even family might forget you, but a pet never does. He might let you sleep in occasionally, but feed me, walk me, scoop my litter will get you out of bed and moving on even the worst of days.
And he'll make you smile - even laugh - when you don't think laughter is possible in your circumstances. He can be a dog, a cat, a guinea pig or another type of furball. He's your friend, your companion, and/or your exercise partner throughout his lifetime. At times he might be your patient, needing special care, as he ages or goes through an injury or illness.
Those who don't have pets don't understand this and they miss a lot of happiness.
Carolyn Scott not only knows about this bond, she exemplifies it. For a number of years, Carolyn danced in competitions with Rookie, her Golden Retriever. To watch one of their numbers is to marvel at the way they work together, Rookie's eyes continually on her as he leaps, wriggles and prances through their routines. His enthusiasm and love for what they are sharing is obvious. It's more than a well-trained dog performing. They are both having fun!
To watch them together, one would never guess Carolyn was paralyzed with childhood polio when she was four years old. Today, Rookie is 15 years old, retired from competition and battling cancer. Carolyn is no longer able to compete either, due to aftereffects of the polio and its treatments. Post polio sequelae (or the late effects of polio) has left her with diminished balance, which could cause her to fall.
Land of PureGold Foundation posted this video clip of Carolyn and Rookie in action on YouTube. In late 2008 they hope to have the full video "Gotta Dance" available. It will feature Carolyn's story in her own words, dance routines and commentary on what these two have accomplished. If you haven't seen them dance before, you are in for a treat.
Here are a couple of links for Carolyn and Rookie. Land of PureGold Foundation and Canine Freestyle.