Cassidy, the three legged therapy dog…

See larger image. (her greeting card)

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Pet Passions: Giving kisses at the nursing home.

Pet Peeves: When her brothers steal the prime snuggle spot in bed.

Breed: Rottweiler

Age (at the time of photo session): 2 years

Story: When Cassidy was rescued she had a very bad leg Rottilove Rescue funded her leg amputation and Lap Dog Rescue took her in to convalesce. Her new forever family fell in love at first sight and quickly helped Cassidy find her true calling; working as a therapy dog for the elderly. She is certified through Therapy Dogs International and now visits Assisted Living Homes regularly.

Cassidy loves people and is a favorite among the residents. Her Mom says, “It’s amazing how she connects with the residents. Their faces light up when they see her coming.” Cassidy is Verysupercool, and we’re so glad she got a second chance. Visit www.rottilove.org and www.lapdogrescue.petfinder.org to see more sweet dogs available for adoption or contact your local Rottweiler rescue group to find out more about this loving breed.

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EVEN MORE ABOUT HOP-A-LONG CASSIDY…

Cassidy was a sweet girl and a delight to photograph. She gets around and has created quite a name for herself. Cassidy was recently the feature story in the United States Rottweiler Club magazine! See her full story below along with a couple videos of Cassidy. One where she is running and one where she is pulling her four-legged brother across the living room floor!


CASSIDY’S STORY By Lala Roberts – Breed Specific Legislation Committee

When I received the call from LapDog Rescue asking if they should take in a young Rottweiler who had to have her right front leg amputated at the shoulder, I said, “You will have a hard if not an impossible time adopting her out. Unless you personally want another house dog, I would not put her through the agony of amputation. She will NEVER find a forever home.”Have you ever been wrong and had to eat your words, but enjoyed every mouth full? Well that is exactly how I felt about my conversation with Lisa Matson of LapDog Rescue. Some of you may remember Lisa as the one who helped with all the Katrina and Rita flood rescues. USRC members and their friends were very generous in donating funds for kennel runs, vet bills, dog food and gas for travel to pick up these poor Rottweilers so they could find a temporary safe haven with Lisa. It is good to know that the funds are still helping house Rotties in need with the extra kennel runs. It was November of 2005 when an animal shelter in Plano, Texas sent out a post that they had a brother and sister Rottweiler needing to go to a Rescue League. The pups were around 5 to 6 months old and the female had a bad front leg.Another Rottweiler Rescue League picked up the two pups from the Plano Shelter and discovered that the female’s front leg was indeed bad, very bad. It was bent inward at the knee in an L-shaped turn and fused that way. She could not use it. Off to the vet’s and the future for this little girl was the misfortune of only having three legs. Her brother found a new loving home very quickly, while she went on to the animal hospital.

December 16, 2005 Sassy (Cassidy’s previous name) found a benefactor to handle the cost and she had her right leg removed at the shoulder. She did very well during recovery at a foster home and went to LapDog Rescue with Lisa in January, 2006.

Lisa promptly fell in love with her and tried to spend as much time with her as possible but when you have 5 to 50 rescues to tend to at any given time, individual needs are at a premium. Lisa listed her for adoption by putting out the word with her picture and bio on the internet while showing her off to everyone that came looking for a new family member. Not one person glanced at Sassy. She was very sweet and offered affection, but no one would even come and pet her. They walked right past her kennel run. Lisa was heartbroken. Days, weeks and months went by and no family for Sassy.May 15, 2006. Becky, from Austin, Texas was on the internet looking for a rescued Rottweiler for her friend who no longer had one in his life. Becky and her husband Chris have a male named Roddy but they had lost their 12 year old female Rottie the year before. They were not looking for another at this time because her death was still very sorrowful. Becky was searching the different rescue sites and came upon LapDog Rescue and up popped Sassy’s picture. Becky’s heart opened up as soon as she saw her face and fell in love. Then when she read about her adversity, she knew this was her girl. Becky talked with Lisa, filled out the adoption application and made an appointment to meet Sassy on the 20th.May 20, 2006. The first time Becky and Chris laid eyes on Sassy, she was running down the driveway with Lisa. What a site, ears flying in the wind and running full speed on three legs! After an introduction to their male Roddy, who was not impressed with another dog coming into his home but being the sweet boy he is, welcomed Sassy. She had finally found another brother and a loving family. Sassy was on her way ‘home’.Lisa called to tell me the great news. Lisa and I were so happy that I didn’t even need salt to eat my words! Thank goodness Lisa did not listen to my original advice. When the new family returned home, Becky began taking Sassy on walks around the area. Walking was harder for her than running and she sort of had to hop. “Come on Hopalong Cassidy”, Becky would say. The new name Cassidy was born. She still is a Sassy Cassidy though. After meeting her new vet and having more x-rays, it was discovered that her remaining front leg had a fracture as well as a fracture in her pelvic area. It was a reasonable guess that she had been hit by a car resulting in her mangled, now amputated leg. The vet said that she should not go down any stairs, but going up was fine.The problem with that order is that there are 150 steps to get down to the water from Cassidy’s new home. Well if there is a will, there is a way. Chris just carried her down to the water and the land below.Roddy loved to swim and retrieve things thrown in for him, but Cassidy wouldn’t go near the water. She was never forced to go in, but watching Roddy have so much fun was getting to her. She finally got her three feet wet and happily played in the wet stuff on the banks. She kept watching him go out further and she was getting frustrated to say the least. She couldn’t figure out how to get to him. She tried a few times but having only one leg in the front made it a bit hard to swim and she kept falling over. So she would just run as far as she could in the water. Then one day it happened, she was barking at him to come back and she just started swimming. She was so intense on getting the stick from him, that she just started swimming!

Now you cannot keep her out of the water and swimming after the ducks is a favorite game.Cassidy is a very smart girl and she catches on to things very quickly. Roddy was chosen to be in a movie so Becky was trying to teach him to bark on command. Roddy thought Becky was crazy but Cassidy was watching and she said ”WOOF” and looked for her treat. Very food motivated! She woofed every single time the hand signal was given.September 16, 2006. AKC Responsible Pet Owners Day. Becky decided to try the Canine Good Citizens test with Cassidy. She didn’t think her little tripod would pass but it would be fun. Remember that Cassidy is a very smart little girl. She did everything exactly right. The girl was wonderful. When she passed the test the crowd started cheering and Cassidy loved the applause so much that she had to go up and lick a person, showing that she was not only talented but sweet.That same day, Cassidy went through the agility course. It was just a fun run but again everyone started cheering when she finished. Up the A-frame, through the tunnel, over the 12 inch wide teeter and over the jump! Nothing fazed her. That’s called attitude! Things that she had never seen before – she just attempted and kept on trying until she made it. That’s called heart!

Roddy and Becky took pet therapy classes so he could go into ‘Assisted Living Homes’. Since Cassidy was a bit energetic Becky didn’t even think about her doing therapy work. After Roddy graduated the therapy class, they started going to one home on a regular basis. Poor Cassidy didn’t get to go. Roddy was off to do filming for a movie and the regular visiting day was nearing. Becky received permission to bring Cassidy to the home as a stand in for Roddy. Everyone fell in love with her. One lady said, “Look at her face, her eyes, she can read you.” To see her with the people is a delight. She was never afraid of any of the equipment, the wheelchairs, carts, walkers, etc.., nothing bothered her. She was in her element. There is only one thing she likes and loves as much as food – affection. So her ‘mission’ was found.

Besides greeting and kissing everyone in the home, Cassidy does a trick that is a favorite among the residents. Becky will ask her to sit and then throw treats all around her while saying ‘leave it’. Again, cheers from the audience and Cassidy basking in the glory as she waits to retrieve her treats.January 27, 2007. Both Roddy and Cassidy have been tested and passed by Therapy Dog International. With this certification Becky can now take them to more assisted living homes and even visit hospitals, etc.Cassidy and Roddy are both getting into programs designed to help kids that have trouble reading. This is a program where the children read to the dogs. Cassidy also does tracking, luring and air scenting. No, she hasn’t been on the Schutzhund field yet. But hey, she just turned two.

Cassidy has no limits and it will not surprise anyone what she will be able to accomplish in the future.No one knows Cassidy’s background, she is a Rescued Rottweiler. There are many more Rotties out there that need a second chance. With the onset of so much Breed Specific Legislation many more Rottweilers are winding up in shelters and rescue. LapDog Rescue has a four year old female that had a fracture in her pelvic area and has been in rescue over a year. She desperately needs a loving home. Her name is Sweet Pea. Who knows, she may be the one to help little Johnny learn to read. You can see Sweet Pea or make a donation at www.lapdogrescue.petfinder.org .Cassidy and her family have been invited to attend the Heartland Rottweiler Klub’s South Central Regional Sieger Show and Regional Schutzhund Championship in November. You all are also invited to come to Dallas and meet this amazing Rottweiler.

Editor’s Note:Thank you Lala for this story. Breed Specific Legislation affects us all and is in everyone’s back yard. When BSL slips through in a community, it has the impact of not being able to own a Rottweiler in that community. Your USRC BSL Committee is Lala Roberts, Chrissie Kovacs, Alex Wisienski & Andreas Mueller. bsl@usrconline.org

Buy her greeting card!

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893 Responses to Cassidy, the three legged therapy dog…

  1. Malea Barber January 21, 2008 at 8:12 pm #

    Cassidy’s story brought tears to my eyes! I have loved and been loved by Rotties for 25 years. My heart dog, Max, was the ultimate therapy dog, and his favorite place to visit was the Children’s Hospital at St. Francis in Tulsa, OK. Max was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma in July of 2000, after having had the cancer (apparently) for 9 months before diagnosis. He lost his battle in April, 2001. Max was registered with Therapy Dogs Incorporated.

    Knowing what wonderful therapy dogs these gentle giants make is just one of the many things that touched my heart when reading Cassidy’s story. Keep up the good work, little lady! You are a precious soul!

  2. Nora Beatriz Onrubia October 11, 2009 at 3:52 pm #

    Well…what can I say? No words are enough to express my feelings…. Since I knew about Cassidy I couldn´t keep her off my mind…Many tears have come to my eyes thinking of her!!! She is UNIQUE! And she has a very important mision in this life…besides being a therapy dog and giving love and opening people hearts….I think that she is giving a very important lesson to all humans “LIFE IS WORTH LIVING IT NO MATTER WHAT…. WE SHOULD OBTAIN THE BEST OF IT BECAUSE WHEN THERE IS A WILL THERE IS A WAY….AND WE SHOULD BE HAPPY AND BE THANKFUL WITH WHAT HAS BEEN GIVEN TO US…”
    Cassidy is a very special dog and she has found the right home with a very special family. Thanks to Cassidy I have been able to know Becky and become a friend of her although I live in Argentina.
    Cassidy, Becky and company…keep on working!!! All my love from here. Nora

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  1. Verysupercool Announces Holiday Collection - April 10, 2008

    […] Labrador Retriever (adopted through Town Lake Animal Center, now a Texas Hearing and Service dog), Cassidy; a 2 year old, three-legged Rottweiller (adopted through the joint efforts of Rottilove Rescue and […]

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