Hi! My name is Claudia and I have a dog named Rugby Jones. I guess that makes me his human mom. Rugby has become my inspiration and my teacher because of the way that he has dealt with adversity in his life.
Rugby suffered a spinal cord injury and lost the use of his back legs. I watched the sadness in his eyes with an understanding that he could no longer run, play or even walk. Like any parent, I tried everything to help him. I finally found him a dog wheelchair.
That was the moment when Rugby’s life changed for the better. Rugby took to his new wheelchair like a duck on water. His enthusiasm and zest for life grew with each passing day. Little did I know that Rugby’s injury and recovery would change my life for the better too.
As we dealt with Rugby’s handicap, I became acutely aware of the interactions between Rugby and those who came in contact with him. Sometimes, there were disapproving and unkind comments that came our way. When this happened I became mesmerized by the effect that Rugby’s antics and friendly personality had on people. He possessed an innate ability to turn negative into positive and criticism into approval.
Those who had scorned the dog in the wheelchair and the woman at the end of the leash did about faces after he approached them with his heartwarming antics. It was as though he spoke their language. “Why are you staring at me? I’m fine. So what if I need a wheelchair to get around? Is your body perfect? Mine isn’t. Please be nice to me. I will be nice to you. I am a very happy dog. I love my wheelchair and I love my life. Don’t you want to be my friend? I sure want to be your friend.”
I have been sharing Rugby’s uplifting story because it is one of encouragement for people who must deal with any adversity. Rugby exemplifies the fact that life is what you make it.
As I speak and write about Rugby’s antics, actions and reactions to people and events, children are delighted. Maybe it is because my words are straight from the horse’s mouth or more accurately straight from Rugby’s mouth.
With my help, Rugby shares his message that teaches hope, courage, understanding, compassion and kindness.
Rugby Jones is my hero and I am confident that he will be your hero too.