Atlas is a Newfoundland, still a puppy. For the first year of his life he has undergone tremendous struggles, including several orthopedic surgeries on his front legs.
Atlas is a gentle giant but he has undergone many procedures that have stunted his training. After each procedure he is strong for a while, and when he feels well, he starts pulling on the leash. The good part about this is he CAN pull on the leash. The bad part is he SHOULDN’T.
His owner works diligently with him to get him strong and keep him calm. Excitement is not his friend.
Each time he takes a step forward, there seem to follow several steps back.
He becomes lame and the search continues to find the doctor or procedure that will solve his problems.
You see Atlas was born to be a Love Dog, a therapy dog.
However he has spent most of his young life battling a variety of ailments and in casts, E-collars, on medications, going to rehab and just not himself.
So while his legs did not grow properly and he had setback after setback, his heart swelled with love.
Atlas’ owner has gone through the Pet Partner Workshop and is already a volunteer with the Love Dogs. We have used Atlas’s story and photos to motivate children going through life’s challenges as he is.
While everyone knows OF Atlas, they have yet to meet this amazing pup.
One of Atlas’ goal is to become a real Love Dog, even if his job is to sit in the lobby of the Children’s Therapy Center and show the kids his courage and strength in just getting there.
But he has to first get medical clearance to take the Pet Partner Evaluation and his owner has to believe it would not harm him to go to work.
So perhaps the Love Dog therapy team in Las Vegas has its first virtual Love Dog … the dog who we may never get to bring to the children but the dog they all know about.
The dog whose journey they follow as they too struggle to live and live well.
The dog they admire and understand and relate to.
The dog that is just like them – living day by day and always striving to be the best they can be.
Good luck Atlas – you were born to be a Love Dog and we just know your day will come.