Pushy Puppy Video
We discovered the Pushy Puppy video by Justin at Footprint Film about a working line German Shepherd, Justice True on YouTube. He is a smart, amazing, talented dog who has a very special behavior that he started doing all on his own- pushing a wheelchair. Tamandra was born with Spina Biffida and needs the chair to get around but loves being active. He is Tamandra’s co-pilot and service dog.
We were looking for talented dogs making a difference so we contacted Tamandra and Justin and asked if we could feature her story in our Documentary Talent Hounds. It turned out she is friends with our philanthropic friend Judy and Surf Dog Ricochet who are also featured in our film and series and they both agreed.
We interviewed her so please enjoy this beautiful guest post from Tamandra about her two amazing dogs Borias and Justice True:
German Shepherd Service Dog Borias (RIP)
A wise person once said that we get the dog we need. I hear that a lot, as it definitely rings true with people.
I spent twelve years with the most incredible dog, A German Shepherd that I raised and trained to be my Service og, to help with mobility tasks like pulling my wheelchair, and picking up dropped items.He was very special, and our bond was so close. He was my ‘heart dog’, which is one of those dogs most are lucky enough to have once in a lifetime, that you share a very special relationship with.
Borias was that dog. We shared many adventures, spent every waking hour together. He was quite a character, and his big personality drew many admirers. The dog even met Betty White. Twice!
Hemangiosarcoma, an aggressive cancer tragically took him.
When I learned he had terminal cancer, I went into a tailspin, I was so incredibly devastated. Hemangiosarcoma is all too common, and it took him fast, only one month after the terrible news. He left a huge hole in my heart, and I though could never have such an amazing bond with a dog again.
Shortly after Borias’ passing, I became Facebook friends with a trainer, who was into the sport of Schutzhund, and training in a force free way. She is not a breeder, but just happened to be breeding a litter to get her next competition dog out of her male, and a really great imported German female. I started to get intrigued.
She was going to do early neonatal work with the puppies based on a program called Puppy Prodigies.
Small world, because my good friend, Judy, who is the famous Surf Dog Ricochet’s mom as you know, started that program.
I decided it was time to plan for a new pup to bring into my life, this felt right, like fate, meant to be…
German Shepherd Justice True – Service Dog-In-Training and “Pushy Puppy”
So a new year, a new life, a new journey to embark on with a dog.
I named him Justice True, since I’m a lifelong champion of social justice and human rights. And it was a really cool name!
I wanted a high drive ‘sporty’ puppy this time, one that would excel at dog sports. I think I had an inkling of what to expect, but… I really had no idea what I was in for! I’ve learned a lot about training, and did well with my last dog using positive methods. But bringing up this boy threw one challenge after another my way. He has made me a better trainer.
I am also training him to be my Service dog, which is no easy task, given he is highly excited by so many things in the environment. He’s incredibly smart, and active, and constantly needs his mind challenged, and wants to work. GSDs (German Shepherd Dogs) will go out of their way to find a job to do. And that’s exactly what happened one day, when to my delight, Justice spontaneously started pushing me in my wheelchair… he just jammed his nose in my back, and pushed! I don’t even know how he came up with the idea, but he really ran with it.
He loves to do it so much, that he started doing it all over the place, delighting everyone around us. Exclamations of “WOW! Look at that dog! That’s Amazing!”
Well, I think I have lucked out twice in a row, and Justice and I have formed a very close relationship. He has helped my heart to heal, and is a blessing in so many ways. He’s one creative pup- most Service dogs pull their humans in a wheelchair, he put his own spin on it by pushing me!
I think that he and I are going to do great things together. “
Follow our journey at http://journeywithjustice.com
Like our page on Facebook: www.facebook.com/K9JusticeTrue
We have no doubt Tamandra. Thank you so much for sharing your inspirational story.
Update- I just learned that Tamandra was hit by a car crossing a road in her chair and injured which makes it very difficult to get in and out of cars. Luckily Justice True was OK and stayed by her side. Her Mom also passed away last year so there is a GoFundMe fundraiser for a van just in case you would like to help.