by Dan Zarro
In 2019, my service dog Shade passed away after a long and happy life. Shade was a dog who treated me like a friend and who always protected me at all costs. Without Shade in my life anymore, my heart felt empty. I was desperately longing for a friend.
My family decided to volunteer for BluePath Service Dogs. Our family agreed to be puppy sitters for dogs that needed temporary homes as they were going through the training process to become service dogs. Our family babysat a wide variety of different dogs.
When each dog arrived at our house, I felt intrigued about their unique personalities. Some dogs were serious, some were playful, some enjoyed snuggling and others were curious. I got to know what type of dog I liked and what type of personality put a smile on my face.
In late June, the staff at BluePath asked us if we would do them a favor and puppy-sit a new dog for a few weeks. The dog was named Ranger. I couldn’t wait to meet Ranger and get to know his personality. It didn’t take long for me to learn that Ranger was very playful and that he loved getting attention from everyone in my family.
Ranger was quick to learn tricks that I could teach him. He would do anything for a treat. He showed me how he could give high fives and close cabinet doors. I taught him how to catch a golf ball and a frisbee. He likes to tease me. When I play corn hole, he always steals the bean bags from me!
Ranger is always eager to go with me on adventures, like when I go on hikes or take him swimming in lakes. He really just loves to be with me and follows me wherever I go. When BluePath decided that Ranger was not able to be a service dog, they decided he would be a great fit for me as a companion dog.
The minute that Ranger came into our lives, I knew that he was everything I wanted. I am so thankful that he is my dog. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for the two of us.