Instagram Contest Winners

| March 19, 2014 | 0 Comments
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Ted

Ted

We had a great response to our first instagram contest with over 100+ entries! We asked our followers to post a photo of their retriever accompanied with a story of what their dog meant to them or a journey they have taken together. A big thank you to everyone who entered and shared their stories. Below are our top three winners who along with getting their photo and story published will also receive an assortment of dog toys. We hope you enjoy these heartfelt stories as much as we did. Enjoy! Be on the look out for our next contest, we look forward to you participation!

Cinna

Cinna

Winner 1: Carie, Erin, Kreed, and Cinna aka @kreedsworld Kreed is 16 years old and completely nonverbal. He can use a communication device, but otherwise cannot speak. He is diagnosed with several complicated medical conditions, as well as autism. Two years ago we investigated the possibility of getting a service dog. Since Kreed was afraid of dogs at the time, we decided to start with a puppy that would grow with Kreed and learn as he does, especially after seeing Kreed with his OT’s puppies at her farm and how much he liked to pet them (but not adult dogs). So we used the same place that his OT received her dogs and she had a litter available. Long story short, Kreed went with us to look at the dogs. She brought up many dogs, but it wasn’t until she brought up the last two dogs and Cinna looked at us that we just “knew.” Then when she put Cinna down, he immediately crawled into Kreed’s lap. We definitely knew. We decided to train Cinna ourselves, as I have extensive background in behavior analysis and dog psychology. I also received help from other trainers that own service dog companies. Our decision paid off because Kreed and Cinna formed an intense bond as they both grew. Cinna was never afraid of Kreed or his movements and sounds and seemed to know from day one that Kreed was his job- his job to protect, to befriend, and to love. Recently Cinna has finally graduated from his “in training” phase to being fully in service with Kreed and he goes everywhere with him. One of our final goals was to have Kreed holding Cinna’s leash while tethered to him and for me not to be the guide, but for Kreed to lead. This has given Kreed a new sense of both independence and confidence. I explain more in his blog. But Cinna will follow my verbal commands while he protects and lets Kreed lead. Cinna waits for permission from me to either “go” with Kreed or “stay” with me. Secondly, Kreed now must use his communication device to ask me to go to a different isle or if he saw something he wanted to go look at. So Cinna has both increased Kreed’s safety and increased his communication skills. It’s a win-win!! It’s been amazing and has decreased my stress and anxiety when taking Kreed into the community. What a sense of relief. Cinna is trained in the home to “check” on Kreed periodically or stay with him completely and he will bark and alert me if Kreed lays on the ground so I can go check on him and take his vital signs. This has also decreased our worry because I don’t have to always be waiting to find Kreed on the floor- Cinna is able to tell me so much faster! As you can imagine, to us, Cinna IS a super hero. He helps us in so many different ways its amazing. And he does it with pride- when we put Cinna’s service vest on he is so excited he actually moves his head toward us to put it on him and will drop everything when he see’s us get his vest out. Kreed is 16 years old now and has become taller and stronger than us. Having Cinna there to help out in every area of his life has been a life saver. Especially on the safety stand point and preventing Kreed from harming himself or bolting into traffic or away from us in stores. Cinna is quite frankly a fantastic Labrador retriever. He has always had a calm demeanor since he was a puppy and I honestly don’t know where we would be without him. Kreed and Cinna have a blog so you can follow their journey to check it out click here.

Molly

Molly

Winner 2: Jenny and Molly aka @blueeyedu2fan Back in 2008 I never could have imagined how important Molly, a little black puppy, would become to me. Our support of each other would shift back and forth through the years in a way I never would have expected. After I was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor a two-year-old Molly spent many days in bed next to me just to comfort me. Though she normally slept at my feet, while I was recovering from brain surgeries she slept with her head on my pillow. When she wanted to play, she’d gently lick my hand to see if I was feeling up to it rather than flipping my pillow off the bed like she normally would. Shortly after I recovered, when Molly was three, she was diagnosed with a fast growing cancer. In one surgery they were able to remove the entire tumor. Then I spent days in bed comforting her, just as she had comforted me. Since then we’ve both made full recoveries. Now we aren’t as thin as we once were and we have many more gray hairs, but the bond we have is unique. Her wagging tail and never-ending desire to fetch tennis balls completely melts my heart. I wouldn’t trade her unending love for anything in the world. Sadly, Molly had a return of her cancer three years after it first appeared. In the middle of March I made the difficult decision to end her suffering. Lately I’ve found comfort in the understanding of fellow dog lovers. I’ve also been busy chasing after a 7 week old Black Labrador named Riggins. I can’t wait to see the bond we will build. I know it will be different, but just as strong as the bond I shared with Molly.

Sadie

Sadie

Winner 3 Mike and Sadie aka @miket1811 As I am sitting in the layout blind taking this picture, it kind of hits me that Sadie has actually matured into the duck dog I had hoped for. From the very first picture I saw of her the day she was brought to my office I had envisioned this moment with her. We have spent countless hours since that day training and practicing for the real thing. Sadie and I have worked so hard, from fieldwork, to puppy school, and those long “sit, stays” in the house just for a treat and a pat on the head. Once upland bird season started I was treated to her first real bird retrieves ranging from quail, to pigeon, and then grouse. I could not have been more proud. Once we finally got to duck season I got to see the finished dog. This picture brings us full circle. Knowing her growth in the field will not reach its peak for a few more years brings me to this picture and this moment that I knew my lil’ girl was everything I could of asked for.

Category : Breaking News

Misha Abbenhouse

About the Author ()

Being surrounded by the Great Northwest for the entirety of my life I have come to really enjoy the outdoors, loving the rain almost as much as the fleeting sunshine and all the activities that come along with it. I've always loved animals especially those of the equine and canine variety. My intense interest in dogs led me to start writing about the adventures that Indy, my black lab, and I shared. Aside from animals, I love to read and write and college really fostered this love and I now find myself being able to couple my two great loves of writing and dogs.

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