One day when I went to the pet supply store to get dog food, I took Rugby with me. It was a rainy day and there were very few people in the store. As always, Rugby was scoping out everything at his eye level. I was focused on my errand and we were walking in that direction when I heard people talking.
I heard a child say, “Mommy look at that doggie in the wheelchair.” Then I heard a woman’s voice saying, “Don’t go near him. There is something wrong with him. Let’s just go the other way. No. You can’t pet him. Something is wrong with him.” This was not the first time something like this happened.
It was almost like Rugby was telling himself what to do, “If they can’t come to me, I’ll go to them.”
At that moment, I felt Rugby pulling me down the aisle and around the corner to the next aisle where the children and their mother were. I saw the mother put her hands on her children’s shoulders and hold them. Rugby pulled me right over to them and then barked. It wasn’t a loud bark. It was more like a “woof.”
The little girl looked at her mother and asked her, “Mommy, can’t we pet him please?” I don’t know if the mother was embarrassed or just confused but she still held their shoulders and said nothing. “Mommy, can we?”
I decided that I needed to put my two cents in so I said, “It’s okay. They can pet him. They won’t catch anything.” She gave me a questioning look and I told her that I knew that she was concerned and that Rugby wouldn’t hurt her children in any way, quite the contrary.
She released her hold on the children as if to tell them that they could pet him. I explained that Rugby had been in an accident and that he needed the wheelchair because of his paralysis.
As the children and Rugby interacted happily, she and I talked. When we were ready to say good bye, she told her children something that I will never forget.
What a lesson those children learned on that day. What lessons are you teaching your children?
The character of Rugby Jones, this site and the books, The “Tail” of Rugby Jones: A Rascal’s Journey from Disability to Ability and The Diary of a Different Dog – Rugby Jones are based on the true story of Claudia Broome’s extraordinary Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Rugby Jones.
Claudia Broome is a noted motivational speaker, author, and coach who shares the incredibly uplifting, heartwarming and motivational story about her beloved dog Rugby Jones, who lost the use of his hind legs in a terrible accident.
Claudia decided to write Rugby’s adventures from his own point of view and with children of all ages in mind, especially those who struggle with any “different-ness” that can set them apart from others.
Using Rugby as an example, Claudia teaches children the value of accepting and respecting diversity and offering kindness to everyone. She gives encouragement to everyone who must live with and overcome the pain of any adversity.
Rugby and his wheelchair Zoomie could just as easily be any person in a wheelchair, any person who suffers from obesity, any person who is mentally challenged or any person with a life-threatening illness whose world is his bed.
His Can Do attitude goes far beyond what the adult world calls disability. For Rugby, it is all about ability, the ability to live every day fully regardless of his particular circumstance.
The books and this site are written in Rugby Jones’ lovably-cocky young voice.
He lives with a “can do” attitude and because of that he has become an example of the fact that life is what each of us makes it. Rugby Jones offers a convincing message to everyone who reads, listens or watches him make his way through the ups and downs of life. That message is based on acceptance, respect, kindness, belief, courage and a positive attitude. Rugby’s heartwarming and humorous narrative is filled with hope and understanding as he shares his earnest lessons on life.
Guess what? Rugby just might be your hero if you give him the chance.
Through her speeches, workshops and coaching, Claudia Broome, is on a mission to spread kindness, acceptance and understanding and ultimately help to stamp out bullying. Her speeches couple the importance of love and support from families with lessons that teach how to identify and remove the power from bullies.
Says Broome, “The hundreds of parents and kids who have connected with me via www.rugbyjones.com regarding their own experiences have provided me with the expertise to see what works and what doesn’t when it comes to bullying.”
Claudia is well received by all who hear her message because she knows the facts and entertains her audiences. She offers positive ways that children and adults can transform the atmosphere in a school into a climate that cultivates compassion and kindness.
To schedule Claudia to speak to you or your group, and for rates, please email request to firstname.lastname@example.org and place ***Speaking*** on the subject line.