Meet Taylor and her service dog Zoe

Meet Taylor Thompson and her hearing service dog Zoë .   Taylor contacted me to let me know how well Zoe was doing on ActivPhy. I contacted Taylor to learn more about her and Zoë .  I met an amazing young woman with an even more inspiring story!

Taylor was born deaf in both ears. At the age of two, she received a cochlear implant in one ear. She went to Mary Bryan Elementary School growing up which had a hard-of-hearing program. The program allowed her to improve her speech but also allowed her to attend school with hearing individuals. This foundation gave Taylor the confidence to attend mainstream schools the rest of her life.

Taylor has always loved animals and in fourth grade she realized she wanted to be a veterinarian after her black Labrador puppy recovered from Parvovirus under veterinary care. At this time, Taylor realized the power that veterinarians have to heal sick animals.

Currently, Taylor is in the process of accomplishing her lifelong dream of becoming a veterinarian. She is a senior at Franklin College in Indiana studying biology on the pre-veterinary track. She has been accepted into Purdue University where she will study to obtain her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine, class of 2019. In the meantime, she continues to feed her passion for animals. She works part time at a local Pet Supplies Plus pet store and plans to continue doing so while studying at Purdue. She is also the founder of an organization at Franklin College called, “Passion for Paws”. This organization has been officially recognized on campus.   Taylor is also an advocate for early intervention for an organization called Hear Indiana.

Being deaf with a cochlear implant still has its limitations, especially since she is deaf in both ears with only one implant.  To compensate for her “not-so-perfect” hearing, Taylor was matched with a hearing service dog named Zoë who is likely a Sheltie, Collie, Australian Shepherd mix.  They estimate her age to be 2-3 years as of January 2015.

Zoë has her own inspirational story.  She was rescued from St. Joe County Humane Society by an organization called Midwest Assistance Dogs. They trained Zoe to be a hearing service dog. Originally, Zoë was struggling to find a home because she was heartworm-positive and had itchy skin. According to Taylor, “She has been treated and is heartworm free! And her itchy-ness has been minimized now that I feed her higher-quality, grain-free food which is free of allergens. Zoë today is a healthy, spunky little girl!”

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Two amazing sisters – Two World Champions

Meet Tessa and KC owned by Randy and Linda of Arcadia, California.   Tessa is a 11 year old Black Lab and KC is a 18 month old Yellow Lab. They share more than the same human parents, they are both 2014 DockDogs World Champions.

Tessa is not only a World Champion but she is also a Canine Cancer Survivor. She was diagnosed with cancer on Valentine’s day 2008. Remarkably, Tessa beat the odds and has been cancer free for 7 years.   This year, Tessa’s parents chose ActivPhy as Tessa’s joint supplement after consulting their veterinarian oncologist.  Because Tessa has a compromised immune system due to the cancer, ActivPhy has been critical for Tessa’s overall health and energy level. The true test came in November 2014 when she became The World Champion, Legend Division with  jump of  21’4″.

KC is still a puppy but her parents chose to put her on ActivPhy along with Tessa because they felt it was important start joint supplementation early, especially being a canine athlete and a breed that is predisposed to hip and joint issues. KC is successfully following in her sister’s footsteps. She became the World Champion, Junior Division with a jump of 18’9”.

Update 2/28/15: Both Tessa and KC competed in the DockDogs West Coast Challenge at Kern County Fair in Bakersfield, CA.  Tessa won The Masters Division with a jump of 21’9″ .  KC, not to be outdone by her sister, won the Senior Division with a jump of 19’2″.    Linda reported that Tessa and KC look lean and fit.  She worked off season on their endurance and muscle mass with long walks.  ActivPhy’s formulation also helped.  Creatine is one of the primary ingredients, supporting muscle health.

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Read about Poppy’s second chance

Meet Poppy owned by Sharon of Arizona.   Poppy is a 11 year old Labrador.   Poppy was a Canine Companion for Independence Service Dog for 6 years.   She served as a hearing support dog for her human companion.   Unfortunately, Poppy was retired from Service work due to some developing mobility issues and her person could no longer care for her.   Luckily, Poppy’s puppy raiser Sharon was able to adopt her.  Unfortunately, Poppy returned to Sharon with multiple health concerns, including being overweight and having a hard time getting around due to joint discomfort.   Sharon put her on a strict diet and placed her on ActivPhy.   After being on ActivPhy for 4 weeks Sharon saw a difference in Poppy.   She was becoming more active and back to the dog Sharon remembered.  Now Poppy can play with the new puppies and keep up, jump into the back of the SUV with no problems, compete in Rally Obedience, is trying Agility, plus she enjoys her weekly trips to visit her kids with more vigor and excitement.  Poppy and Sharon are living happily ever after with their other dog Risa and their new service dog in training Morey the puppy.  Poppy’s favorite thing is to participate in therapy work with children.

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Read about Mercedes’ road to recovery

Meet Mercedes owned by Becky from Tennessee. Mercedes is a five year old Boxer mix. Mercedes has been on ActivPhy since the beginning of November and has been doing great on it! She sustained a bilateral ilipsoa muscle strain in the middle of October. The ilipsoa muscle is a muscle that runs from the lumbar spine to the medial aspect (or inside) of the hip. She strained both of them however the left was slightly worse than the right. A glucosamine supplement was recommended to help speed muscle recovery and support bone health during her therapy.  Based on recommendations from friends, Becky chose ActivPhy for her joint support .

She was placed on two weeks complete rest after which we started slow reconditioning using the underwater treadmill, swimming, and other core strengthening exercises to build her muscle tone back up. She has been doing great but will be continuing with her physical therapy to keep muscle tone and strength during the winter months. As of right now, her first DockDogs event for the 2015 season is set for February 14-15 in Apopka FL. We will keep you updated on her progress!

Update 2/15/15: Mercedes competed this weekend and placed number one in Speed Retrieve!  This should guarantee her a place in The 2015 World Championships.

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Meet Stryker—a dog with so much talent and heart

Meet Stryker a 11 year old Belgian Malinois/Border Collie Mix owned by Melissa from California. Stryker is a very talented dog who I had the opportunity of meeting for the first time in August of 2014. Stryker was getting ready for a retirement tour at the upcoming DockDogs Word Championships in November. I learned that Stryker needed a daily joint supplement that was highly effective, he would eat and his stomach would tolerate. Luckily ActivPhy fit the bill. In November, I had the honor of seeing Stryker in this farewell competition.

I knew Stryker would go out in style…he is a world record holder, is the first dog to jump 7 feet in Extreme Vertical and was inducted into the 2009 DockDogs Hall of Fame. Here is Stryker’s last jump in competition of his career. He jumped 6’11, amazing for any dog especially a dog almost 11. He also placed 2nd in the Legend Dog Big Air.

Congratulations Melissa and Stryker!

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