A Second Chance at Life
Johnny Cash (“Cash”), a black lab, had been abandoned in a back yard and was living in deplorable conditions. When found by Piece of My Heart Rescue, Cash was living in a makeshift crate with no water or food in sight. Weighing only 50 pounds, he received a body score of “2” from a veterinarian. Fortunately, he tested negative for heartworm.
From the moment he was discovered, Cash’s life has taken a dramatic turn for the best! A member of Piece of My Heart Rescue took Cash into her home and, with care and nurturing, he gained 15 pounds in just five weeks. But that’s not all — it turns out that Cash is a quick study. Within two weeks, he learned the sit/stay, down/stay and recall commands, plus he learned to walk calmly on a leash. He learned the speak command with the aid of just two treats. And house training was a no-brainer for this dog! When he enters the house on a rainy day, he sits on the doormat and holds up his paws, one at a time, to be wiped clean. He loves his bath, too, jumping into the tub when asked.
After living so long in a crate, Cash needed socialization training — and like his previous training, he passed this test with flying colors. His foster mom began introducing him to public life by taking him to Bass Pro Shop and PetSmart. Cash took it all in stride, attracting attention wherever he went. His foster mom says it’s his eyes that draw people in. Everyone wants to pet him, which is not allowed for service dogs. He had to learn that when he wears his service vest, he cannot engage with other people.
A Rescue Born to Rescue a Hero
After completing service dog training at Duffy’s Dog Training Center in Jeffersonville, Cash was placed with a wounded Vietnam War hero who was suffering from the effects of PTSD, including panic attacks and nightmares. Cash has been invaluable to his hero, John, providing much-needed emotional support. When a panic attack strikes, John puts his head in his hand or says “at ease,” and Cash comforts him. What could be an extremely anxious situation is defused, and John calms down. He credits Cash with allowing him to enjoy life once again.