Rescuers at the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City pulled Joker (can you guess his personality?) from a shelter just before he was scheduled to be put down. He had severe chemical burns trailing down his back, though their origin is a mystery.
As volunteers and workers spent time with Joker outdoors, they noticed something interesting – the motivation and drive he exhibited while playing was somehow different from other dogs. There was a “spark” there, and director at the rescue Pete Dahl had a truly brilliant idea.
He contacted a local canine recruiter for service dogs, Eliodora Chamberlain, who observed Joker and decided he was exactly the kind of dog they were looking for. She immediately began work with the pup, exploring rubble piles and doing various toy tests, and he took to it all too eagerly. You’d never know Joker had any sort of injury or lingering pain.
This pup was always up for a training session and had a tight-eyed focus despite any distractions thrown his way. After only four months, the news was out: Joker had been accepted into a diabetic alert dog training program to eventually be matched with a child or adult with diabetes.
The Humane Society wrote on their Facebook page:
Last night, as Pete [Dahl] dropped Joker off at Eliodora’s home to get prepared for his journey, Joker officially received his “service dog in training vest.” It was an emotional moment for all because that vest not only means a new life for Joker outside of our shelter, but it helps cover part of the scars from his previous life before arriving to HSGKC.
He took his first plane ride with Eliodora to Indiana and was officially off to school!
While Joker is the very first dog from the shelter to take this path, everyone hopes he won’t be the last. They now have a keen eye for those special traits and won’t hesitate to give a homeless pup a chance at the same future.
Soon enough Joker will wake up every day to a job he loves doing, and he’ll be helping humans much like he was helped so many months ago.
“Great people are noticing that shelter dogs can be working dogs, too,” said Dahl. And it’s just one thing that can make a huge difference in the lives of animals who might otherwise never find their purpose.
Good luck, Joker! Someone is going to be very happy to have you in their life.