Saint Francis Service Dogs 2022 Annual Report
A PUP’S progr es s
What a journey it has been! And, the best part is, I am just getting started!
HI! My name is Lion! My friends at Saint Francis Service Dogs (which is where I live, by the way), asked if I wanted to tell all you wonderful people out there a little bit about my story. Some of you may know some of it already, but let me start from the beginning anyway! Saint Francis, helped bring me and my sisters into the world. She took care of us when we were itty bitty. Soon, Tonya noticed that I was having a little trouble eating my food and wasn’t growing like my siblings. It was a little scary, but I knew right away I was in good hands. They took me to a big place called Virginia Tech where the doctors figured out I had something wrong with my heart. They called it Persistent Aortic Arch and said I was going to need surgery to help me get better. My little heart problemmade it really tough for me to eat like all the other puppies. I needed to get bigger and stronger before the doctors could fix it. Saint Francis was determined to figure out a way to help! I was born in 2021. Tonya, an incredible person and friend of
straight up to take my liquid meals. She called it the “Lion Tamer”! And guess what? IT WORKED!
When I go to sleep at night, I am just so thankful to everyone who has helped me along the way. I hope that one day soon I can give all that love and support back to someone who needs me....someone I can give my heart to!
In June of 2021, I was big enough for the doctors to fix my heart. The best news is, I have only gotten stronger since. I was able to go live with a wonderful family, the Fraziers, who made sure I was healthy and happy while they started teaching me the first things I would need to know to someday be a service dog. Because of all of the bumps on my path, I was a little behind in my training. But, once again, all the people who love me stepped up. The trainers at Saint Francis made sure I had a little extra support and attention to get me where I needed to be. Gosh, I am lucky! Now, I work hard every day with my amazing teacher, Debbie. I get to train with my other friends in Advanced Training who are learning to be service dogs. We get to play a lot while we are learning all of the important things we need to know. Right now, my favorite tasks are “bump” and “get it”. I mean, I am a retriever after all!
Stay tuned for my second Pup’s Progress in our next newsletter!
Lion “All I really want is to be by my person’s side and give back all that has been given to me!”
Tonya made me a funny little contraption that helped me sit
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