Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Dog on the Blog: Faith, the Winston Churchill of Dogs!

I must begin with a disclaimer that this dog is not a resident of Smilng Dog Farms, nor has he ever been. A good friend shared this article about Faith with me, and I wanted to share it with you.

This dog was born on Christmas Eve, 2002. He was born with 3 legs - 2 healthy hind legs and 1 abnormal front leg which had to be amputated. He could not walk like other pups when he was born. Even his mother did not want him.

His first family did not think he could survive. They considered 'putting him to sleep' -- killing him because he was imperfect. But by this time, Jude Stringfellow had met him and wanted to care for him. She was determined to teach him to walk by himself. She named him 'Faith'.

In the beginning, she put Faith on a surf board to let him feel movement. Later she used peanut butter on a spoon as a lure for him to stand up and jump around. Even the other dog at her home encouraged Faith to walk. Amazingly, after only six months of training, Faith learned to balance on his 2 hind legs and jump, to move forward. After further training in the snow, he learned to walk like a human being.
Faith loves to walk around now. Everywhere he goes, he attracts attention. He is becoming famous on the international scene. He has appeared in various newspapers and on TV shows. There is even one book published about him, entitled With A Little Faith.

Here, Faith shows some interest in a guinea pig, just like any other dog! Jude Stringfellow has given up her teaching post and plans to take him around the world to preach that even without a perfect body, one can have a perfect soul.

Life in this world is never perfect. But you don't have to be perfect to have a happy and rewarding life.

The joy that Faith exudes is reminiscent of a well known speech -- and possibly the shortest ever delivered -- given by the late Winston Churchill, former Prime Minister of Great Britain, and leader of his nation during its most difficult hour in World War II. The prime minister strode to the microphone and said, "Never give up. Never give up. Never give up." And then he seated himself again.

Prime Minister Churchill's words express the unfailing spirit of a little dog, born imperfect, but whose tenacity and pure joy overcame that imperfection. Faith is a testimony to the wonder of life and the admonition to Never Give Up!

Jay Hellerich, executive director
smiling dog farms
a 501(c)3 corporation
wharton, texas

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