NewsChannel 21’s Mike Allen tracked down one of those dogs to see how he’s doing. As it turns out, the dog’s making a difference in the lives of strangers, and most importantly, his new family.
Last year, times were not so good for Nash the therapy dog. He was one of 53 dogs given up by a La Pine breeder who did not take care of the pups, even to the point where one of them had to be euthanized.
That’s when the Gylling family, who had just moved to Bend from Washington State, saw NewsChannel 21’s coverage of the dogs and brought Nash into their family.
Amanda Gylling rescued and trained Nash. She said, “I believe a dog knows when he or she has been rescued, and he knows. He just has this glimmer in his eye as to say, ‘Thank you.'”
It was not an easy transition for Nash. Amanda said he showed clear signs of trauma after leaving the terrible conditions in La Pine as a puppy. “It was very apparent, in fact,” she explained. “He would not approach my husband or my son. It was clear that he hadn’t been socialized or just hadn’t received the love that he needed and deserved.”
But the Gyllings soon found out Nash is a special dog. “That fear diminished pretty quickly once I realized he’s just easygoing,” Amanda said. “He just needed that love and attention to kind of pull out and enhance that personality.”
Soon, friends and family started commenting on Nash’s relaxed nature and asked Amanda, who’s an elementary school teacher, if she’d thought about training him to be a therapy dog.
So she got him certified through an online program and now she takes him to hospitals and classrooms, including her own where her son Micah is a student.
When Micah comes home from class, he and his “four-legged brother,” as he calls Nash, have a special routine. “He really just comes out of our gate and we call it a doggy floss dance because he’s always wagging his tail so much,” Micah said.
Of course, just like any siblings, Micah and Nash do sometimes clash.
“There is one thing,” Micah said. “When I go to bed, he’s pretty much always on my bed, and he’s mostly a bed hog.”
Aside from that, things couldn’t be better for Nash.
Only a year after being rescued from inhumane conditions, he’s now a dog with a job who’s never really off the clock.