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Rebecca and Oreo's Story

Oreo as a babyOreo Training to be a service Dog.
Well here we go. My name is Rebecca and my dog is Oreo Double Stuff. I am very lucky to have her. I looked for a long time before I found Joan and her family and her wonderful Great Danes. I live in Georgia and right down the road from me is a breeder with Great Danes but there was just something about them that kept me looking. To let you know a little about myself, I am 39 and was a workaholic who didn't know what to do if I wasn't away from home 80 hours a week doing for others. My whole life has been to be the back bone and the foundation for my family and my job. Well we all have the potential to be brought to our knees when life deals us a new hand, hence my new life and Oreo.
I have been diagnosed with Lupus, inflammatory arthritis, toxic fatigue, and a few other things I have trouble spelling. Well last April 2005, I was rushed to the hospital with what the doctors thought was a stroke. No such luck, well I wouldn't say that, I am very lucky, because I found Joan, Oreo and a new reason for life. It turns out I have swelling on my brain that now causes me to need assistance when I walk and drive, get up and down and sometimes just to face the day.
My mind immediately went in to overdrive about the fact I didn't want to bother anyone with my condition and I wasn't going to admit there was anything wrong with me. So the research begun for my new life, so I wouldn't "inconvenience anyone". So now back to my story of Joan and Oreo.
For three years I worked for a school that trained dogs and I watched the joy we brought people every time their puppies and dogs learned something new. Well I figured if I could train dogs to make others happy I could train one to help me. The list for a service dog is years long and that is only, if ever, your name comes up on the list. So I decided to find and train my own service dog.
Then the decision what type of dog would I use. Since I was a little girl I have wanted a Great Dane so I stared looking. I looked for weeks, at hundreds of puppies and then there they were, Joan and her family and a brand new litter of puppies. I looked and I stared and I smiled until I finally decided I had found her, the harlequin one, with the beautiful, sky blue eyes. HA! Well needless to say everything happens for a reason. By the time I chose my puppy it was sold. The only puppy left was the one I thought looked sad and pitiful. It was my Oreo. Life has funny little twists it has always been said we don't pick our companions, they pick us. 
I received Oreo from Joan on the day she turned 8 weeks old. The very next day we had our first visit to the vet. She was given a clean bill of health and the go ahead to start her puppy training at 9 weeks. She has fast become a favorite at the vets and we go to see them just to keep up our progress with our weight and growth now that we are through with our puppy shots. She is doing beautifully. 
We started with basic obedience at Pets Mart to socialize with other animals and we passed with flying colors. Everyone loves Oreo. I think Joan and her family picked a wonderful started name for her and it just kind of stuck, my husband added double stuff. I work with her as much as I can on my good days but we also have another professional trainer friend named Able that is helping us as we go. We just received our service dog in training vest and we now go to stores and restaurant together. It is an all day job if we have our, "ask to pet me" I'm friendly patch on. 
Having Oreo has made me feel needed again; she gives me a reason to get up each day. Without her I would lie in bed and feel sorry for myself. I felt my children were grown, my job moved on without me and my husband now has nothing but pity for me, you know how our minds can play tricks on us, but with Oreo I have a reason to face each day with a new challenge and a new purpose. So because of Joan and her love for the breed and her loyalty to helping others find great companions I now have what every person needs, a life with a purpose.
By the way my grand children thinks Grams has a cool dog. And I now have a new grand child on the way due in September. So more news, on Oreo, and my new family as it becomes available.
Many Thanks from our Hearts to Yours 
Rebecca Whitfield
Griffin Ga.


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